WATTS, John after Abraham HONDIUS (circa 1625-1691)
A Pair: [Morning], [Evening]
London: Published by J. Watts, Dealer in Prints & Drawings opposite the Mews Gate Charing Cross, 1 June 1778. Mezzotints. Printed on laid watermarked paper. In excellent condition. [Morning] Image size: 9 1/2 x 13 7/8 inches. Plate mark: 10 x 13 7/8 inches. Sheet size: 10 5/8 x 14 7/8 inches. [Evening] Image size: 9 3/8 x 13 7/8. Plate mark: 9 7/8 x 13 7/8. Sheet size: 10 3/4 x 15 1/8 inches.
This is a stunning pair of mezzotints of two hunting dogs catching their quarry, by John Watts after paintings by Abraham Hondius.
Watts was a successful printmaker and publisher who was active in London during the second half of the eighteenth century. He was famed for his rich mezzotints, which he exhibited in London between 1766 and 1778. Watts scraped mezzotints after some of the most renowned artists of his day, but he had a special penchant for works by the Dutch masters, such as this handsome pair after Abraham Hondius, the celebrated Dutch animal painter. These rich mezzotints are a superb example of Watts's luxurious style of engraving, translating the energy and fluidity of Hondius's beautiful paintings into a dramatic example of superior mezzotint engraving.
Benezit, Dictionnaire Des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs.