JAMES MALTON (1761-1803)
A set of twenty-five views of Dublin in hand coloured aquatints, along with a framed key.”A Picturesque and Descriptive view of the City of Dublin”
Frame dimensions: Width 25”, Height 21”
James Malton is thought to have lived in Dublin during the 1780s with his father Thomas Malton, an architectural draughtsman and teacher. According to the Publius source he was apprenticed to James Gandon, the famous architect, at the age of 17 in 1781. Malton’s apprenticeship to Gandon was terminated after three years by mutual consent, after which he moved to London, working from there with frequent visits back to Dublin. Malton engaged on his grand project to produce his ”Picturesque Views of Dublin”, on a scale hitherto unknown even in London. Dublin pre-Act of Union in 1800 was of course an incredibly rich and vibrant city at the zenith of its financial and cultural powers, and so to Malton it must have appeared ripe for acceptance of such a publication to celebrate its status as the city second only to London. The book was published in six parts by subscription, as was the custom starting in 1792. The painting itself was carried out in London The book proved in part to be too great an undertaking for Malton, and he could not have foreseen the exodus which took place in the city after the Act of Union in 1800. He died in 1803 in London at the age of 38 of a brain fever, and undoubtedly did not reap the rewards of his endeavour. James Malton (1761-1803) undertook his Views of Dublin project in the 1780s and began to publish his set of twenty-five prints in 1792. Completed as an architecturally accurate depiction of Dublin, these prints served as a visual record for the city. The prints enlightened those living in the latter part of the 18th century as to the nature of Dublin and, to this day, they have maintained their importance as a captivating illustration of the city as it was.