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Wood engraving - The Chamber Idyll
  • The Chamber Idyll
    Calvert, Edward, born 1799 - died 1883
  • Enlarge image

The Chamber Idyll

  • Object:

    Wood engraving

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1827-1828 (made)
    1904 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Calvert, Edward, born 1799 - died 1883 (artist)
    Carfax Gallery (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood-engraving on India paper.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case J, shelf 6, box E

The Chamber Idyll is unique in English art of the period for its mood of explicit eroticism. It is the last of Calvert's prints and is generally thought to be the finest. Calvert was a friend and associate of the artist Samuel Palmer for more than fifty years, and Palmer treasured a portfolio of Calvert's prints. He described The Chamber Idyll as 'doubly condensed poetry'.

Physical description

Proof print on India paper

Place of Origin

England (made)


1827-1828 (made)
1904 (published)


Calvert, Edward, born 1799 - died 1883 (artist)
Carfax Gallery (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Wood-engraving on India paper.


Height: 55 mm image size, Width: 90 mm image size, Height: 420 mm sheet size, Width: 320 mm sheet size

Descriptive line

Edward Calvert. 'The Chamber Idyll', 1827-8, printed 1904.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hoozee, Robert (ed.), British Vision. Observation and Imagination in British Art 1750-1950, Brussels : Mercatorfonds ; Ghent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 2007
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1926, London: Board of Education, 1927.

Production Note

Attribution note: From a portfolio: The Early Engravings of Edward Calvert. Eleven proofs on India paper from the original copper plates, wood blocks, and lithographic stones. Published by Messrs. Carfax & Co., Ltd., 1904. (The original lettered inscription on the wood blocks have been removed.) The issue was limited to thirty copies. The two copper engravings and seven wood-engravings were printed from the original plates and blocks, now in the British Museum. Of the two lithographs, the impressions included in this issue were part of a remainder, numbering only thirty-five, of those printed under the artist's own supervision in 1829. (After printing, the stones were cleaned, and in the memoir by Calvert's third son, these subjects were reproduced by means of photo-process blocks.)


India paper


Wood-engraving (process)

Subjects depicted

Interior; Nude; Eroticism; Bed



Production Type

Limited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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