HAID, Johann Elias (1739-1809) after Johann Caspar HEILMANN (1718-1760)
The Art of Dressing Fish Most humbly dedicated to the Honorable Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce by your most obedient humble servant Ioh. Elias Haid
Vienna: 1773. Mezzotint by Johann Elias Haid. Image size (including text): 17 5/8 x 15 inches. Sheet size: 22 x 17 3/4 inches.
A charming image by one of the great names amongst German mezzotinters: Johann Elias Haid (1739-1809)
A pretty young woman is shown seated at the fireside. A pot is already on the fire and she looks up, pausing, before continuing to de-scale a small fish. To her right on the floor are an eel and two other fish that await the same treatment, behind them a bundle containing vegetables and a wooden bin with cabbage and leeks. On the shelf above the fire-place sit a coffee-mill, a pot and a cup.
Haid's dedication to the Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce suggest that this plate was intended by him as a show-piece that would be seen by members of the society, who would then recomend his work to would-be employers in Britain.
It is above all a spectacular example of the art of mezzotint, with very fine gradations of shadow and a striking portrait.
Le Blanc II, p.332, no.13.