SNYDERS, After Frans (1579-1657). Engraved by Richard Earlom.
The Lion and the Boar. From the Original Picture, Painted by Snyders, in the Collection of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle
London: John Boydell, 1 January 1772. Mezzotint, printed in colours and finished by hand, by Richard Earlom. Image size (including text): 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 20 1/4 x 24 1/4 inches.
A fine and rare coloured print by one of the most skilful of all mezzotinters after Snyders original
A stirring and powerful illustration of the forces of nature at a climactic moment.
Frans Snyders was born in Antwerp in 1579. He studied under Peter Breughel from 1593 and perhaps Hinorck Van Balen. He completed his apprenticeship in 1602 and went to Italy in 1608-1609. On his return to Antwerp he began by painting flower and fruit pieces and idyllic scenes and only later turned to scenes from the hunt and wild animals. A friend of Rubens, Snyders came to be held in high regard and he is still recognised as an early master of the genre. Benezit writes "C'est une véritable maître lui-même. On peut dire qu'il est sans rival dans ses magnifiques interprétations de la nature morte, des scènes de chasse ou ses luxuriantes compositions."
Richard Earlom (1743-1822) studied under Cipriani, "and in 1765 became known to Alderman Boydell, who entertained so high an opinion of the young artist that he employed him to make drawings from the celebrated collection of pictures at Houghton, and now at St. Petersburg, for the engravers to work from. In 1757 he was awarded a premium by the Society of Arts. In the art of mezzotint engraving Earlom was his own instructor. His plates show great technical skill... and are highly valued by the connoisseurs... Earlom was not less successful in his engravings in the chalk manner. A fine example in this way may be seen in his figure of Alope after Romney. He also engraved a series of prints after the original drawings of Claude Lorraine, in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire... He died 9 Oct. 1822, in Exmouth Street, Clerkenwell... He engraved over sixty plates in mezzotint, among which are The Royal Academy, after Zoffany; Samuel Barrington, after Reynolds; Richard, viscount Fitzwilliam, after Howard; William Henry, duke of Gloucester, after Hamilton; Horatio, lord Nelson, after Beechey; William Pitt, after Dupont; the set of six plates of the Marriage à la Mode, after Hogarth; two flower pieces, after Huysum; Blacksmith's Shop, and the Forge, after Wright." ( DNB ).