The Art of Thomas Bewick is the first book to interpret the art of the wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753 - 1828) and set it in the context of history, revealing the connections between Bewick's political and religious views - reflections of the late eighteenth-century Enlightenment - and the character of his images. Bewick was both an important contributor to the history of British ornithology and a highly original artist and printmaker. His depictions of the natural world, particularly of British birds, set new standards of realism and authenticity, while his graphic scenes of country life were unparalleled in their thoughtfulness, mingling humour and tragedy. His lively depictions of dogs, horses and other animals can also be seen as the expression of a new insight and sensibility: part of the growing movement for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Allowing Bewick's art to be viewed in a broad context of the artistic and scientific culture of his age, this lavishly illustrated book will appeal to naturalists, especially ornithologists and birdwatchers; historians of science, art and country life; those interested in the history of animal rights and protection; and students of painting and print media.