John Skippe (1742-1811), [Moses with Tablets, on an Eagle], chiaroscuro woodcut, c. 1783. In good condition, trimmed just at or within the printed borderline, mounted to old watermarked laid album paper, 8 x 6 inches. With an added inscription below in Latin, a dedication to John Symonds, professor of modern history at Cambridge, with Skippe’s printed signature.

A fine impression, printed in four blocks, variations of brown and ochre.

Provenance: ex Collection Mr. and Mrs. Percy Simmons

Skippe was a “gentleman antiquarian” who traveled widely, collecting drawings which he later used as the basis for his chiaroscuro woodcuts. His intent was to replicate the Italian manner of Ugo da Carpi, and perhaps even encourage a re-birth of chiaroscuro woodcut printing.  His prints were superb examples, but the re-birth of the medium was not forthcoming. Skippe was not focused on the commercial possibilities of the medium, sharing his prints only with appreciative connoisseurs and colleagues.  He created a number of folios of prints; the number is unknown but they are rare, and were of varying sizes. In the United States there are two folios at the Yale Center for British Art (one of 31 prints, the other containing 20); another folio of 42 is at the Cincinnati Museum of Art, and finally a folio of 28 is at the University of Chicago.