TURNER, Charles after John HOPPNER
Charlotte Countess of Cholmondeley and the Hon. Henry Cholmondeley
London: Published by the engraver, No 50 Warren Street, Fitzroy Square, July 15th, 1805. Mezzotint. State i/ii with scratch letters. Printed on laid paper. A stunning impression in excellent condition. Skillfully remargined outside platemark on top of sheet. Small section in-filled in lower left corner of sheet outside platemark. Lower left corner skillfully in-filled outside platemark. Paper strengthened in upper right corner of sheet. Skillfully mended tear in upper right corner of image. Tiny section of image in-filled in lower right corner of image. Trimmed within platemark on lower margin. Image size (including text): 22 13/16 x 14 5/8 inches. Sheet size: 25 x 15 ½ inches.
This stunning print is a rich impression of Charles Turner's mezzotint portrait of the Countess of Cholmondeley and her son after Hoppner.
John Hoppner was at the height of his powers at the time he painted Lady Cholmondeley and her son, Henry. The grand aristocratic portrait had been the domain of Sir Joshua Reynolds, carried on by Hoppner, Raeburn and later, Lawrence. Apart from dressing very young boys in dresses, what separates us from this epoch is the sense of noble vulnerability we feel in the countess, who occupies her station graciously and without apology. Georgiana Charlotte Bertie (1764-1838) married George, Earl (later Marquess) of Cholmondeley in 1791. Her calm demeanor, elegance and self-containment epitomise the aristocratic feminine ideal of the period.
Henry Cholmondelely (1800-1884) was about four when the painting was done. As Lord Cholmondeley was a moderate Tory at Parliament.
Charles Turner was an outstanding engraver who throughout his memorable career produced an array of wonderful images. Born in Oxfordshire, Turner moved to London in 1795, at which time he was employed by the famous engraver and publisher Boydell. Turner was a versatile engraver working in stipple and aquatint as well as mezzotint. Although Turner produced a wide array of excellent prints in subjects ranging from topography to genre, his main artistic focus was portraiture. Throughout his career he produced more than six hundred plates, of which about two-thirds were portraits. Turner was a close friend of J.M.W. Turner, and engraved many of the artist's paintings, in addition to engraving some plates for 'Liber Studiorum'. The work of Charles Turner is highly regarded by print connoisseurs as an engraver who combined technical skill with an artistic imagination to create beautiful enduring images. (DNB)
Whitman, Charles Turner 110, this state not recorded; O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 1; Lennox-Boyd & Stogdon, state i/ii.