Wednesday, April 23, 2014

James Watson (Irish, c. 1740-1790) after Sir Joshua Reynolds (English, 1723-1792) Elizabeth, Duchess of Manchester and Her Son c. 1770 Mezzotint on cream laid paper 690 x 470 mm (sheet); 620 x 410 mm (image) The Charles Deering Collection, 1927.5710 Goodwin 45 III; Chaloner Smith 97 II; Hamilton p. 116 III Prints and Drawings Not on Display James Watson created this print for the map- and print-seller Robert Sayer after an original painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Here the Duchess of Manchester is seen reenacting the classical myth of Diana disarming Cupid, in the manner of mythological dress-up that luminaries such as Horace Walpole deemed inappropriate. It was commonplace for engravers to produce prints after popular paintings. In fact, painters often worked in tandem with printmakers in order to market themselves to a wider audience. James Watson in particular engraved pictures after many artists, including 50 portraits after Reynolds alone.