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John Baptist JACKSON

(1701 – London – 1780)


The Virgin in Clouds and Six Saints - 1742

After Titian.


Chiaroscuro woodcut printed in two tones. From « Titiani Vecelii, Pauli Caliarii, Jacobi Robusti, et Jacobi de Ponte, opera selectiora a Joanne Baptista Jackson Anglo, ligno cœlata, et coloribus adumbrata » published by Pasquali in Venice in 1745.

Size of sheet: 59.5 x 37 cm.


Nagler 17; Le Blanc 14; Kainen 26.


Comparative impressions: The Princeton University Art Museum – inv.ref.2006-449; National Gallery of Art – inv.ref.2012.92.534; British Museum – inv.ref. 1958,0712.83.


Very fine impression with margins; minor time staining to the sheet edges, soft handling creases in places, but overall in very good condition.

John Baptist Jackson: The Virgin in Clouds and Six Saints

  • The print is after the painting by Titian now at the Pinacoteca Vaticana (inv.MV.40351.0.0).

    The English printmaker and illustrator John Baptist Jackson travelled to Venice via Paris in 1731 where he began working for several Venetian presses, including for the printmaker Count Antonio Maria Zanetti. Jackson’s work in chiaroscuro woodcut, a sixteenth-century technique undergoing a revival in Venice and Paris at the time, came to the attention of a wealthy banker Joseph Smith. In 1739 Smith commissioned Jackson to work on an ambitious project to make chiaroscuro woodcuts after 17 paintings by Venetian masters, including Tintoretto, Titian and Veronese. Three paintings were in Smith's own collection. The project took more than four years, during which time Jackson proofed nearly 100 blocks to produce 24 plates after 17 paintings. This was not the first or only such project Jackson attempted but it was the only one to be successfully completed and published.

    Jackson was an innovative printmaker. He constructed his own roller press for printing the blocks. The cylinder press enabled him to exert such pressure that the tints became deeply embossed in the paper, adding cast shadows to the range of printed tones.

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