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Calvert's engravings 'The Return Home' and 'The Sheep of his Pasture' are particularly close in style to Blake's illustrations for Thornton's edition of Virgil's 'Pastorals'. 'The Chamber Idyll', by contrast, is a truly original image, and is usually regarded as Calvert's masterpiece. It is a sensuous vision of a bucolic honeymoon. The cottage stands open to the warm night, apples litter the floor, and a plough is silhouetted on the far right-hand horizon emphasising the end of the day's labours. The print, with its fine engraved lines, is an astonishing technical achievement for an artist who had been making prints for only four years. Yet after this work Calvert abandoned printmaking altogether.

September 2004