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John Baptist Jackson

(c. 1700—1778) woodcutter and designer of chintz and wallpaper


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(bc. 1701; d c. 1780). English wood-engraver and wallpaper manufacturer. He trained as a wood-engraver, first in London with Edward Kirkall (1695-1750) and then c. 1726 in Paris under Jean-Michel Papillon. He parted from Papillon on bad terms and went on to Rome, and then Venice, specializing in the chiaroscuro technique. His six Heroic Landscapes (1745) after gouaches by Marco Ricci (1676-1730) were printed in 7-10 colours. He returned to London in 1746 and founded a wallpaper manufacturing company in Battersea. There he applied the chiaroscuro technique to produce wallpaper panels printed with oil-based colours, imitating the appearance of the print rooms of the day with their framed engravings and landscapes in roundels surrounded by Baroque frames (e.g. London, V&A). He also engraved imitation stucco arrangements of ornamental foliage in the Italian style, as well as statues and trophies. He published a vigorous defence of his claims for recognition as an inventor of the technique of printing and engraving in chiaroscuro in a treatise of 1754. The sweeping scale of his work gave new life to the art of wallpaper manufacture, and the Italian influences that he succeeded in assimilating into an original and expressive style contrasted sharply with the then predominating vogue for Chinese papers. Various documents and an album attributed to Jackson's workshop are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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