Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving

Author(s): David Esterly

Fine Arts

Grinling Gibbons (1648 - 1721), the greatest of decorative woodcarvers, is seen in this study through the eyes of a fellow carver. His flamboyant cascades of lifelike blossoms, fruits, foliage, birds and fish dominated English interiors of the late seventeenth century - in royal palaces, churches and cathedrals, and great country houses. David Esterly's first-hand experience of limewood foliage carving gives him unprecedented insight into Gibbons's method and technique. Unique photographs illustrate these procedures, while spectacular interior shots show the carving in its original setting. Tools, workshop practice, materials and finishes are also discussed in detail.


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'A marvellous study; erudite, genial and well-informed. The book has a rare intimacy with its subject' Independent on Sunday

David Esterly is a professional limewood foliage carver in the Gibbons tradition, who played a key role in restoration work at Hampton Court Palace following the disastrous fire of 1986. He curated the V&A exhibition Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving (1998) and is the author of The Lost Carving (2012).

General Fields

  • : 9781851772568
  • : V & A Publishing
  • : V & A Publishing
  • : July 2000
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David Esterly
  • : Paperback
  • : 224