by Frederick Oughton
Master carver Grinling Gibbons' work is found in St. Paul's Cathedral, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. Born in Rotterdam of English parents, Gibbons moved to England, where the quality of his work attracted the support of architect Christopher Wren and King Charles. Best known for decorative still life garlands in limewood, Gibbons also produced stone carvings and furniture. The product of 20 years of research, “Grinling Gibbons” places Gibbons within the rich English woodcarving tradition, focusing especially on work commissioned for the Crown over a period of hundreds of years.
This book shows how shockingly good Gibbons was. He is certainly the most famous and perhaps the very best of the carvers to come out of Tudor England - a time when carving was part of the general vernacular of architecture and decoration. The work illustrated here is just superb: detailed, expressive and infused with lightness. The great carver David Esterly describes being stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of a Gibbons carving at a London church; he later abandoned his academic studies to focus on Gibbons as a virtual apprentice. If you’re interested in carving, you will understand how Gibbons’ work inspires this devotion.
224 pages. Appendices. 8 1/2" x 11". Black and white photographs. Soft cover.