Other works by the artist:

The Discovery from The Keepsake

When Lovely Woman Stops to Folly

The Rape of the Lock

Silver Sideboard Dish


A pencil drawing of Thomas Stothard





Thomas Stothard (1755-1834)

Thomas Stothard is the artist who painted the work known as "Sans Souci" which accompanies L.E.L.Ős poem in The Bijou. He also created many other works in The Bijou, and other annuals and gift books of the time -- as well as many other works of art in other mediums (silver, ceramic, and sculpture, for example). Although Thomas Stothard was probably the most prolific illustrator of his time (the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries), he has been relegated to a minor place in the history of English art. He executed designs for "everything from landscape, sculpture, and history painting to ceramics, silverwork, and book illustration" (Bennett viii). He is known today for his long association with John Flaxman and William Blake, and their development of a "reduced linear style to amplify the emotional resonance of their art."

StothardŐs awareness of the market for his work formed the basis of his prolific employment, success, and popularity, and this commercial success did not hinder his success in historical painting endeavors. Biographers also note that there are links between his artistic endeavors and social commitments Đ he was affiliated with radical political organizations. Bennett notes that StothardŐs style was altered during the period of the second decade of the nineteenth century. The increased use of steel plates for engraving book illustrations around 1820 may have influenced his style. Due to the nature of the medium, the engravers of steel plates required a more intricate finish to drawings than what was needed by earlier engraving techniques. StothardŐs response was to alter his style to adjust to the requirements of the engravers. In addition, critics note that a shift in his style during this time may have been a result of his loss of physical agility (he was in his 60s at this point) as indicated by the shaky and feeble nature of his documented handwriting at this time.

A 1906 biography of Stothard by A. C. Coxhead notes that The Bijou illustrations were selected by Mr. Balmanno (Secretary of the ArtistsŐ Fund, and one of the publishers) and the other publisher (Pickering). "There are two plates after Stothard, and several vignettes designed by him. The former are after the well-known "Sans Souci" a commission from Balmanno, and the equally familiar "Shakespeare Reading to Queen Elizabeth."


Bennett, Shelley M. Thomas Stothard: The Mechanisms of Art Patronage in England circa 1800. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1988.

Coxhead, A.C. Thomas Stothard R.A. London: A.H. Bullen, 1906.







The Author




The Poem