Peter Perez Burdett (British, 1735–1793), after Joseph Wright (British, 1734–1797)
Aquatint printed in red and brown inks
11 1/4 x 8 3/8 in. (28.7 x 21.4 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1968 (68.589A)
This depiction of two boys testing the capacity of a bladder perfectly captures the scientific spirit of the Age of Enlightenment. Burdett's print is unique in that it bears no trace of etched outlines, and thus has been suggested as the first pure aquatint produced in England. Two plates were inked separately in brown and red to reproduce the warm, rosy glow of Joseph Wright's candlelit painting.