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 17th 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 methods and techniques. Unique photographs illustrate these procedures, while spectacular interior shots show the carving in its setting. Tools, workshop practice, materials and finishes are also dealt with in detail.