LORD WILLIAM VILLIERS AND HIS SISTER LADY MARY VILLIERS - BY JOHN SMITH, AFTER SIR GODFREY KNELLER.
Fine early 18th century mezzotint double portrait of Lord William Villers (1682-1721) later 2nd Earl of jersey) and his sister Lady Mary Villiers (d.1735) later Lady Landsdowne. Ready to hang in its antique wooden frame with gilt slip.
This desireable double portrait shows two attractive sitters full-length side by side, in period costume, on a platform in a garden. Lord Villiers stands at left, to front, with long hair. He wears a tunic, robe, and sandals, and holds a spear in his right hand. His left hand rests on a basin fed by the spring behind. She wears a lose dress and sandals, her hair partly up; she holds a garland of flowers in her hand and a lamb beside her.
John Smith (c. 1652 – c. 1742) was an English mezzotint engraver and one of the most highly-regarded and successful of English engravers. Born in Northampton, he first made mezzotints in 1683. For the first nine years of his career he produced prints for five main publishers and the majority of his output was portraiture. In 1687 he began publishing his own prints. In 1688 Smith began producing prints of paintings by Godfrey Kneller who supplied him with a range of portraits of the most important people in Britain at the time, of whom many became his private patrons. Smith’s exceptional ability at the mezzotint process meant that he elevated it to a medium to rival traditional engraved portraits.
Mezzotint. Framed: 61cm x 43cm / 24in.x 17in. Sheet : 41cm x 25cm/ 16in. x 10 in. Executed: 1700
Higher resolution images on request.
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