Description

In 1804 a scheme of wall paintings were discovered during restoration works in the Guild Chapel at Stratford-upon-Avon. They depicted scenes such as the Legend of the Discovery of the True Cross, the Last Judgement, Saint George slaying a Dragon, the Dance of Death and the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Beckett. Thomas Fisher, an English antiquary, produced coloured drawings of the frescos when they were discovered and published them in 1807.Two years later he re-issued these plates along with facsimiles of original documents he had found during further investigations. Though it was Fisher’s intention to publish letterpress with all his plates, a stipulation of the 1818 Copyright Act regarding legal deposit requirements prevented him from doing so. He got around this by publishing his research in an 1835 edition of the Gentleman’s Magazine, then edited by the antiquary and publisher John Gough Nichols. Two years after Fisher’s death Nichols reprinted a luxury edition of the original plates, finally with letterpress, and featuring new engravings and facsimiles of previously unpublished material.

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