GREEN after SMITH
circa 1804. Etching with aquatint. Printed on wove paper, watermarked 1804. In excellent condition. Image size: 7 3/4 x 6 inches. Sheet size: 9 1/2 x 7 3/16 inches. Plate mark: 9 1/8 x 6 3/4 inches.
A fascinating novelty portrait of Governor Hill.
This quirky little portrait is an intriguing example of separately published novelty prints produced in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Obscure printed portraits of unusual figures or local celebrities became popular at this period, appearing in print shops throughout the countryside. Unlike traditional portraiture, which was the product of a specific commission, these novelty prints recorded the likeness of a specific person who achieved local notoriety. From depicting professional walkers and sportsmen to local hermits and showmen, these intriguing prints reveal a host of curious characters, which would be forever lost to history. This sweet portrait of Governor Hill is a wonderful example of this genre of popular English portraiture.
O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 1.