Selected plates from The art of dancing explained by reading and figures
NamesTomlinson, Kellom (Artist)Van der Gucht, Gerard, 1696-1776 (Engraver)Bickham, George, 1706?-1771 (Engraver)
Prints depicting dance
Dates / OriginDate Issued: 1735 (Questionable)Place: London
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZFD Art 1-2
TopicsDanceBallroom dancing -- 18th centuryDance notation
NotesStatement of responsibility: K[ellom] T[omlinson] invt.Content: The print titled The Music or Flourish to the Ceremony or first Honour is labeled [at top left] B. II, [at top right] P. II. The engraver is identified at lower right: G. Vandergucht sc.Content: The print titled Passacaille is labeled [at top left] B. I., [at top right] P. XV. The engraver is identified at lower right: G. Bickham sculp.Content: Inscription on The Music or Flourish to the Ceremony or first Honour: To my ever respected Scholars Mr. Simon Every of Egington in the County of Derby. Son to the Reverend Sir Simon Every Bart. and Miss Ann Every his Sister. This Plate is gratefully inscrib'd by their much oblig'd Servant. Kellom Tomlinson.Content: Inscription on Passacaille [sheet partly damaged at lower right]: To Corbet Owen of Ynysmaingynne Merionethshire, and Riwsaison Montgomeryshire Esqr. & my much respected Scholar Master Richard his brother. This Plate is most humbly inscribed by their most Oblig['d ser[van]t.] Ke[llom Tomlinso]n.Acquisition: Gift; Lincoln Kirstein, 1970.Biographical/historical: The art of dancing explained by reading and figures was published in 1735 by Kellom Tomlinson, an English dancing master and choreographer who was born ca. 1690 and died after 1753. Its illustrations, which combined depictions of the dancers' figures along with Feuillet notation of their steps, provided a more complete picture of the dance movement, including posture and gesture, than was possible with either figures or notation alone. A second edition of this book appeared in 1744.Biographical/historical: The engraver Gerard Vandergucht or Van der Gucht was a member of an English family of artists of Flemish origin. A prolific book illustrator, he illustrated editions of Shakespeare's plays and Cervantes's novel Don Quixote. The name George Bickham was shared by a father and son, both engravers with similar styles that are difficult to differentiate. The younger George Bickham is perhaps best known for his illustrations to The musical entertainer (1737-1739), which suggests an interest in music and dance subjects, a possible link to The art of dancing.
Physical DescriptionEngravingsExtent: 2 prints : engraving, hand-col. ; 22 x 18 cm., line border 21 x 18 cm. or smaller.
DescriptionTwo plates from Kellom Tomlinson's dance manual The art of dancing (1735). Both portray dancers in action (in these examples, seen from the back) combined with Feuillet notation of their steps and music notation. The plates published in Tomlinson's books were not colored; these prints have been hand-colored. The print titled The Music or Flourish to the Ceremony or first Honour depicts a man and a woman; Passacaille depicts two men.
Type of ResourceStill imageNotated music
IdentifiersRLIN/OCLC: 774036500NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19527605Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): f1142bd0-f27a-0132-fc9a-58d385a7b928
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