HAWARD, Francis (1759 - 1797) after Sir Joshua REYNOLDS (1723-1792)
London: Published by Francis Haward, Lambeth Marsh, Nov. 1, 1781. Mezzotint. State iv/iv, nineteenth century impression. Plate reworked and made much darker, traces of ground above the title. In lovely condition apart from some minor foxing in the title space. Image size: 13 x 10 15/16 inches. Sheet size: 15 x 11 3/16 inches. Plate mark: 14 13/16 x 10 15/16 inches.
A dark flawless impression of this charming portrait of young Master Bunbury, from Reynolds' famous painting.
Francis Haward (1759-1797) was an outstanding engraver whose beautiful prints number among England's most cherished images. Haward began his artistic training at the Royal Academy and became a favorite exhibitor at their annual exhibition. Haward initially worked in mezzotint, producing stunning prints from paintings by artists such as Reynolds and Northcote, but he soon adopted the stipple method and worked within the style of Francesco Bartolozzi. His engraving of 'Mrs. Siddons in the Character of the Tragic Muse' was one of the most popular prints of the time and established Haward as a leading printmaker. His mezzotint of 'Master Bunbury" after Reynolds' painting, caused a sensation when it was published and was widely admired for its stunning technical skill and dramatic intensity.
Master Bunbury was Henry Edward Bunbury (1778-1860), son of the famous carciaturist, and Reynolds' godson. The painting was done when Bunbury was three, and Reynolds kept the boy still during the long sitting by telling him fairy tales. Master Bunbury definitely has the look of a little boy enthralled by a fairy tale.
Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits 1, iii/iii; Russell, English Mezzotint Portraits, and their States 1, iv/iv; Hamilton, Catalogue Raisonné of the Engraved Works of Sir Joshua Renolds p.12; O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 1.