18th Century Georgian Mezzotint print Portrait "The Reverie" Proof
Original antique 1792 English mezzotint with colors titled "The Reverie". It is a portrait of a beautiful aristocratic young woman with a feathered hat holding an envelope. She is wearing a blue and white dress and is sitting in a red chair. Printed below the image on the left side is "Pubd. May 16, 1792 by P. Borgnis No 40 Oxford Street", "Proof" is also printed to the left of the title. Printed below the image on the right is "Sir Joshua Reynolds pinx. Thomas Cheesman Late Pupil to Bartolozzi Sculp." It is framed in a narrow painted wooden frame that dates c.1920. There is a frame shop label on the back from "Prince's Gifts-Books, Stationary Lowell". The Lowell being Lowell, Massachusetts. I haven't examined it out of the frame. It is a print made by Thomas Cheesman from a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Outer Dimensions of frame - 15 1/2" x 12 5/8".
The dimensions of the image without the margins or printed words are 8" x 6 3/4".
Condition: There is some darkening or foxing, more noticeable on the upper portions.
From wikipedia:Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening the plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth, called a "rocker." In printing, the tiny pits in the plate hold the ink when the face of the plate is wiped clean. A high level of quality and richness in the print can be achieved.
British mezzotint collecting was a great craze from about 1760 to the Great Crash of 1929, also spreading to America. The main area of collecting was British portraits; hit oil paintings from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition were routinely, and profitably, reproduced in mezzotint throughout this period, and other mezzotinters reproduced older portraits of historical figures, or if necessary, made them up. The favourite period to collect was roughly from 1750 to 1820, the great period of the British portrait. There were two basic styles of collection: some concentrated on making a complete collection of material within a certain scope, while others aimed at perfect condition and quality (which declines in mezzotints after a relatively small number of impressions are taken from a plate), and in collecting the many "proof states" which artists and printers had obligingly provided for them from early on. Leading collectors included William Eaton, 2nd Baron Cheylesmore and the Irishman John Chaloner Smith.
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18th Century Georgian English Mezzotint print Portrait "The Reverie" Proof Edition