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1727 Florence - 1815 Lisbon


Portrait of the Rt Honble Countess Spencer1787

Portrait of The Honourable Miss Bingham1786


A pair of stipple engravings after portraits by Joshua Reynolds. Published by E.M. Diemar. Size of sheets: c.31 x 23 cm. Presented in contemporary frames of black painted fruitwood on a pine carcass; the inner slips are of carved gild wood.


Literature: Hamilton 1884 / A Catalogue Raisonné of the Engraved Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds (p.83.I & 134.II); Calabi & De Vesme 1928 / Francesco Bartolozzi. Catalogue des estampes et notice biographique d'après les manuscrits de A. De Vesme entièrement réformés et complétés d'une étude critique par A. Calabi (1044.II & 1110.III);

Salaman 1909 / Old English Colour-Pirnts (p.18).


£900.- (for a pair)

Francesco Bartolozzi: A Pair of Stipple Engravings

  • Lavinia Spencer (née Bingham) (1762-1831), a daughter of the Irish peer Charles Bingham and his wife, the portrait miniature painter Margaret Smyth, married George Spencer, Viscount of Althorp in 1782. Despite the lack of dowry, George was determined to marry her, and his parents finally accepted the match, perceiving that “Lavinia was pretty, intelligent, and morally acceptable” (Lester, Malcolm (2004)). Countess Spencer was to become a great-great-great grandmother of Lady Diana Spencer. The original portrait by Reynolds has been in the family estate at the Althorp House since then. This is a pendant portrait to the Portrait of Miss Bingham, who was the sitter’s sister.

    Both Bartolozzi’s subject-matter and his style appealed to English patrons in Venice. Based on the so-called crayon manner, the artist had developed to imitate the subtleties of Renaissance and Baroque chalk drawings and reached its fullest development in the technique of stipple-engraving. This led to Bartolozzi being invited to England to engrave the remarkable range of Guercino drawings in the Royal Collection. He arrived in Britain in 1764, with the position (and pension) of engraver to the King. His acceptance into the London art world was underlined by his becoming one of the founders of the Royal Academy.

    During the 1780s Bartolozzi’s output was dominated by an enormous range of portrait engravings after the most distinguished English practitioners of the day, including the present works done after Reynolds.


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