Example of line engraving
Example of stipple engraving
The illustrations in Akenside and Armstrong’s works are done by many different artists and engraved by other artists. Two of the engravers that appear in the works are William Ridley and Charles Warren.
The portraits of Armstrong and Akenside that appear at the front of both works are by Ridley. These portraits can be found on the introduction page of this exhibit. Akenside’s portrait is labeled “Engraved by Ridley” and Armstrong’s is labeled “Engraved by W.Ridley”. There is limited information on the life of Ridley, but he was known for using stipple engraving to create portraits of different artists (National Portrait Gallery). Many of his works were published by C. Cooke, indicating that the two worked together quite frequently and that Cooke trusted Ridley to work on his Pocket Library (National Portrait Gallery). While Ridley was known more for his portraits, Warren was known for working on engravings in literature (Pye 372).
Ridley used stipple engraving and Warren used line engraving to create their embellishments for the pocket library. The stipple engraving technique that Ridley used involved creating “countless small dots or flecks to produce softly graded tones” (Oxford Reference). The line engraving technique that Warren used required “cutting directly into the surface of a metal plate” (Oxford Reference). Line engraving allows the artist to have more control than stipple engraving but techniques can be combined to get different shading effects (Oxford Reference). The illustrations throughout the book use a combination of stipple and line engraving to create beautiful images that match up with a line of poetry.