[BROOKSHAW, Attributed to Richard]
[John Paul Jones, Commander in a Squadron in the Service of The Thirteen United States of America, 1779]
circa 1780. Mezzotint. Scratch lettered impression without title or publication details. Scratched initials R.B in left corner of title space. In good condition with the exception of some minor yellowing to paper. Image size: 12 7/16 x 10 inches. Sheet size: 21 7/8 x 14 1/2 inches. Plate mark: 14 x 10 inches.
This stunning print is a rare portrait of John Paul Jones, the father of the American Navy, and one of the most celebrated American heroes.
During this period naval portraits adopted a certain compositional formula in which the sitter was positioned in front a scene illustrating his most noteworthy victory. Thus, this striking portrait of John Paul Jones. Jones holds a telescope, his hand resting on a large anchor, calmly facing the viewer, while his ship explodes in the background, prelude to his famous victory over Captain Pearson of the Serapis. John Paul Jones is the father of the American Navy and one of the nation's heroes. Fought in the English Channel, Jones's surprising victory over the Serapis and the merchantmen she was escorting was his most famous engagement, and became a great morale booster to the American side. It was during this heated battle when his ship, Bon Homme Richard was sinking, and he was requested to surrender that he said, "I have not yet begun to fight".
Olds, Bits and Pieces of American History p. 395, no. 457; Cresswell, The American Revolution in Drawings and Prints no. 132; Fowble, Two Centuries of Prints in America 1680-1880 p.121; Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits p.1735; O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 5.