18th Century George III set of six mezzotints depicting Lucretia, circa 1780, ‘Domestic Happiness’, ‘The Elopement’, ‘The Virtuous Parent’, ‘Dressing for Masquerade’, ‘The Tavern Door’, ‘The Fair Penitent’. Engraved by John Raphael Smith, (1751 – 1812) and painted by George Morland, (1763 – 1804).
Engraved by John Raphael Smith, (1751 – 1812) was a British painter and mezzotinter, son of Thomas Smith of Derby, the landscape painter, and father of John Rubens Smith, a painter who emigrated to the United States. Smith became a London publisher from 1781, including among his clients the radical writer and artist William Blake. A prolific mentor of apprentices, he shared plates with at least thirty other London printers. In this group was J. M. W. Turner, Charles H. Hodges, William Ward, Thomas Girtin and James Ward, who were among his registered pupils were William Hilton, Charles Howard Hodges, Christiaan Josi, Samuel William Reynolds, James and William Ward (engraver), and Peter de Wint. As a mezzotint engraver Smith occupies the very highest rank. His prints are delicate, excellent in drawing and finely expressive of colour. Among his small full-length portraits in pastels and crayons the best is of Fox, the Whig leader which in 1802 was exhibited in the Royal Academy. Other portraits were of important radicals and whigs Horne Tooke, Sir Francis Burdett and the group of the duke of Devonshire and family support his claims as a successful draughtsman and painter. He had a very thorough knowledge of the principles and history of art, and excelled as a brilliant conversationalist.
Painted by George Morland, (1763 – 1804) was an English painter. He was a companion of John Raphael Smith. His early work was influenced by Francis Wheatley but after the 1790s he came into his own style. His best compositions focus on rustic scenes: farms and hunting; smugglers and gypsies; and rich, textured landscapes informed by Dutch Golden Age painting. The finest of Morland’s pictures were executed between 1790 and 1794, and amongst them his picture The inside of a stable (Tate Britain, London) may be reckoned as a masterpiece. In the last eight years of his life Morland produced some nine hundred paintings, besides over a thousand drawings. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1784 – 1804. Amongst these was the remarkable 1788 picture Execrable Human Traffic or the Affectionate Slaves. Two years later he exhibited a companion picture showing Africans caring for shipwrecked Europeans. They were subsequently published as prints and served to promote abolitionism.
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