Ipsniche or Ipswiche
Coloured aquatintpublished 1 January 1821
About the work
This sepia aquatint view of the town of Ipswich, published on 1 January 1821, is an unusual print. It is not a view of Ipswich as it was in 1821. Nor is it typical of the work of artist Thomas Hosmer Shepherd. In fact, this image is taken from one of a set of drawings of c.1669, held in the Laurentian Library in Florence. The drawings were made at the time Cosmo III travelled through Britain. Copies of the original drawings were passed to Shepherd for aquatinting for a translation of ‘The Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany, through England, during the Reign of King Charles II in 1669’, published by J. Mawman in 1821. The publication was illustrated with 39 sepia aquatinting plates showing ‘the Metropolis, Cities, Towns and Noblemen’s and Gentlemen’s Seats as delineated at that period by artists in the suite of Cosmo’. The artist of the original watercolours remains unknown, but was certainly a member of Cosmo’s entourage. Other works in the series include aquatint views of ‘New Market’, ‘Oxford’ and ‘Thorndon’ (an estate in Essex).
About the artist
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd was born in London; the son of a watchcase maker. His elder brother was watercolourist George Sidney Shepherd, with whom he collaborated in 1813 on street views for Ackermann’s ‘Repository of the Arts’. He went on to build his reputation on depictions of fashionable cities. He made numerous sketching tours and, in 1818, visited France. He worked for Jones & Co. (1826-31), producing some 450 plates for the firm in total. He also worked as a drawing master. After 1842 he received regular commissions from the ‘Illustrated London News’ but still struggled financially. Collector Frederick Crace commissioned numerous watercolours of London sites from the artist (now in the British Museum). He died in Islington, aged c. 71.