Turner's designs for Britannia Depicta
are generally superior to those of other contributors such as Thomas Hearne and Joseph Farington. However, the quality
of the published prints do not do justice
to his original watercolours. Byrne favours somewhat heavy-handed etched lines, particularly evident in the foreground
and foliage of 'Eton', and formulaic
cross-hatched engraved lines, for example in the clouds in the top right corner. These traditional techniques
give the print a rather hard, uninspired appearance and fail to convey the subtle qualities of Turner's watercolour vision.
Gallery label, August 2004
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