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Calvert was a member of the The Ancients, a group of young English artists and others who were brought together around 1824 by their attraction to archaism in art and admiration for the work of William Blake (1757–1827), who was a generation or two older than the group. Calvert was arguably its finest printmaker and a father of miniature engravings. His masterful control of line, strong articulation of light and shade, and bold sense of design lend his tiny lithographs and engravings surprising power. The prints draw the viewer into the intricate worlds that they describe. His art was strongly inspired by Blake’s method of relief etching, which combined additive and subtractive processes. Calvert’s approach to lithography was unusual. After drawing his design, Calvert then scratched away areas using a needle, creating fine white lines.
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