DICKINSON, William after ROBERT HUNTER
The Right Hon. John Burke Lord Baron Naas, First Commissioner of his Majesty's Revenue in Ireland.
Nov. 1, 1777. Mezzotint on laid paper. State i/i with engraved inscription. In good condition apart from some light rubbing in the plate. Image size: 17 3/4 x 14 inches. Sheet size: 23 3/8 x 16 13/16 inches. Plate mark: 20 x 14 inches.
An arresting image of John Bourke, the commissioner of revenue in Ireland, by the master engraver William Dickinson.
William Dickinson (1746-1823) is considered a master of English mezzotint; particularly portraits. As demonstrated in this depiction of Baron Naas, his ability to manipulate gradients of light and shadow is nothing short of phenomenal.
Dickinson began his career as a caricaturist, but soon found that his true talents lay in portrait engraving. He worked with some of the most notable painters in England, artists such as Reynolds, Stubbs, and Angelica Kauffman, producing hauntingly beautiful mezzotints of some of their most famous paintings. With his stunning technique and soft manner of mezzotinting, Dickinson quickly became one of the best loved and most prolific portrait engravers of his time. This remarkable impression is from the collection of the Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig.
John Bourke (c. 1705-1790) was the Commissioner of Revenue of Ireland. Having been created Baron Naas the year before, he had his portrait done by Robert Hunter. The remarkable mezzotint by Dickinson includes his coat of arms, which bears the motto "A Cruce Salus" [Salvation by the Cross]. Baron Naas was made Earl of Mayo in 1785.
Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits 52, i/i; O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 1; Lennox-Boyd & Stogdon, state i/i; Lugt, Les Marques de Collections , (Supplement) 1669e & 1669f.