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Simon Francis Ravenet, one of Hogarth's assistants, was born at Paris, in 1706. He engraved several portraits after Reynolds, and various historical pieces after Titian, Veronese, Guido, Guercino, A. Caracci, N. Poussin, Rembrandt, and other masters. His style is remarkable for brilliancy of execution. His son as well as pupil, Simon Ravenet, went to Paris and continued his studies under J. Boucher. From thence he visited Parma, where he finally settled. It was here that he executed his magnificent undertaking of engraving the whole of Correggio's works in that city, which he accomplished between the years 1779 and 1785. J. B. Chatelain, born in 1710, was a very bright genius, but unfortunately dissolute and desultory in his habits. His works show a power of design and execution which is quite surprising. He occupied himself chiefly in landscapes, many of them being after Gaspar Poussin. His pupil, Francis Vivares, was rather superior to his master, and became one of the finest landscape engravers of that period. His best are after Claude Lorraine, and we are told that in some of his happiest efforts he never even saw the original picture, and yet from his consummate skill he gave all the light and fresh beauties of that painter. Sir Robert Strange, born at the Orkneys in 1721, is considered the most eminent master of that time. It is remarked of him that he never seemed to have known mediocrity. He made considerable progress in drawing in his early days under Cooper, a drawing-master of Edinburgh. The civil wars of the young Pretender interrupted his studies, and he turned his steps towards Paris. During his journey there, he made some stay in the Academy at Rouen, and carried off a prize for design. On his arrival at Paris he became a pupil of P. Le Bas, and under him became a great proficient in the dry point. More than fifty plates prove with what great success he followed up his studies. In 1751 he returned to London, and ten years after that he visited Italy, and from his great talents was received with acclamations by all the members of the different academies of that country. George the Third appointed him his engraver, and he received the honour of knighthood from his sovereign's hand in 1787. His sovereign participated deeply in the high sentiment that induced Strange to refuse to engrave a picture of the late king which was a low work in point of art, though Lord Bute requested it. He died five years after this. Strange's peculiar talent was the beauty, delicacy, and consistency, and the expression of roundness which he gave to flesh. The life of William Woollet, born at Maidstone in 1795, was a remarkable contrast to many of his brother artists. It passed away in the tranquil pursuit of the art, unmixed with any wild or untoward adventures. He was the pupil of an unknown
artist named Tinney, and received no other instruction. He was excellent in every department of the art that he undertook. His admirable plate of the Death of Wolfe, after West, procured him great fame not only in England, but also abroad, and raised the English school on the continent to a higher grade of estimation than it had ever before attained. His landscapes after Wilson show the great power he possessed in the arrangement of his lines. At the same period we find William Byrne, an eminent engraver of landscapes, who executed some beautiful and numerous plates after Domenichino, Claude, Wilson, Kearne, Harrington, &c. We close our notice of the masters of the first class with the name of John Keyse Sherwin, born in 1746. He was appointed engraver to the king, and executed some very fine portraits after Gainsborough, Dance, and Reynolds, besides many historical subjects after Poussin Stodhart.
In the list of the second class, the first name is John Evelyn, born at Wotton, in Surrey, in 1620. We have already mentioned this gentleman's name as the author of the work entitled "Sculp tura," which is the first English publication on the subject that we possess: it contains much valuable information. In a journey from Rome to Naples, he etched five plates of the scenes which presented themselves as he was on the road, which are considered well executed. Francis Place was another engraver of the same period, who has executed some very fiue etchings after Barlow, and also some portraits after Kneller, Vandyke, and others. He was originally brought up to the law, but abandoned his profession for his favourite art. He had great powers of execution, but a sad want of application. Lord Örford, in his "Anecdotes of Painting," relates that Place was offered 500l. by Charles the Second to draw the royal navy, but refused. Sir James Thornbill, the father-in-law of the great Hogarth, the painter of the dome of St. Paul's, and the greatest decorator of private dwellings in the style of staircase and ceiling pictures, among English artists, executed some very good etchings with much boldness and freedom. F. Zuccherelli, one of the early members of our Royal Academy, employed himself in early life with etching. George Stubbs, the admirable painter of horses of that period, etched all his own plates for "The Anatomy of the Horse." We now come to William Hogarth, born at London in 1697. As an engraver he was more remarkable for the characteristic points he threw into his figures, than for his attention to the arrangement of his lines or the delicacy of his lights and shades. From the extraordinary demand for his works, he had several hands to assist him. Scotin, Baron and S. Ravenet, all foreigners, assisted him in his "Marriage à la Mode;" C. Grignon, together with La Cave and Aveline, worked
with him at his four plates of "The Election." He also employed some of the ablest English artists. Woollett, in 1759, assisted him in his illustrations of "Tristram Shandy; "and Luke Sullivan, a native of Ireland, an artist of much humour, easily seized the droll points that Hogarth threw with so much force into his admirable characters, and proved a very useful assistant. Edward Brooker was very happy in his engravings of architectural views; amongst his best works is a plate with the sections of St. Paul's cathedral. John Boydell, born at Dorrington in 1719, by his energy and talents, contributed greatly to the improvement of the art. His father brought him up to his own business as a land surveyor, but he was one day so much attracted with the architectural engravings by an artist of the name of Toms, that at the age of twenty-six he repaired to London, and became his pupil for six years. After that, he got on so rapidly that he published a small work containing views near London, and about England and Wales. From this commencement he made rapid progress towards wealth and distinction. He did a great deal of business throughout Europe, in prints, and amassed a greal deal of money. It is said that the French Revolution was of great injury to him, so much so that he was obliged to dispose of his celebrated Shakspeare Gallery by lottery, when he had intended to have bequeathed it to his country. He was much respected, not only by his brother artists, but also by his fellow citizens, and in 1770 was made alderman of his ward, and in 1791 rose to the dignity of lord mayor. William Elliot, who was much appreciated as a landscape engraver, executed many plates after Cuyp, Rosa da Tivoli, Polemberg, and others. James Basire, born at London, in 1740, was a very good historical engraver, and executed some works after Reynolds, Wilson, and West. He is remarkable as having produced the largest plate that was ever executed of that period; a print twenty-seven inches by forty-seven, from the picture at Windsor, representing "The Field of the Cloth of Gold." We have one other name to mention of this period, Hamlet Winstanley, who was a pupil of Sir Godfrey Kneller. He visited Italy, and on his return to England applied himself to engraving. He executed a set of prints from the dome of St. Paul's. There are also more than twenty different prints by this artist, after Titian, Tintoretto, P. Veronese, Guido, and C. Maratti, and others. The elder Winstanley was the unfortunate projector and builder of the Eddystone lighthouse; he perished in the ruins during the great storm of 1703, which swept almost every vestige into the deep.
Such were the most famous artists who distinguished themselves in compound chalcography previous to the nineteenth century. We will now describe the other modes of engraving
which have been practised with more or less success; and the first is an old method entitled Opus Mallei, which was performed by a punch and mallet, and which is very seldom, if ever, used in any country. It was originally designed to imitate chalk drawings, but the process seldom repaid the artist for the time and trouble he expended in it. The outline was traced on the copper in the usual manner. The artist then proceeded with a series of small steel punches to mark out the various outlines in his picture, and the shadings were beaten in with the punch in the same manner. The number of prints which a plate of this kind would yield is but small; not more than from a slightly etched plate. The printing ink adhering unevenly from the rough surface thrown up by the punch, the impressions are of course by no means clear. M. Bartsch mentions four artists who were worthy of mention in this style of engraving, particularly Giulio Campagnola, of about 1500, who executed a print of "John the Baptist holding a Cup."
The invention of Mezzotinto is ascribed by Lord Orford and Vertue to Prince Rupert; but Baron Heineken considers that the first idea of it was conceived by Ludwig von Siegen, a lieutenant-colonel in the service of the Landgrave of Hesse. executed a portrait of the Princess of Hesse, which is dated 1643, seventeen years before the discovery is said to have been made by Prince Rupert. It is further said, that Prince Rupert learnt the secret from von Siegen, and brought it with him into this country as his own, when he came over with Charles the Second at the Restoration. Some again contend, that Rembrandt was the author of it, but M. Bartsch, we conceive, shows very clearly that he had no claim to it.
Before we remark upon the progress this portion of the art has made, or upon those masters who have made themselves eminent by following it, we will give a short account of the manner in which it is performed.
The tools which are used in this process are, first, an instrument called a berceau or cradle. It consists of a series of points, like the extreme ends of a small-tooth comb, to which a handle is attached at the top. These are not in a line, but form a portion of a circle, of which the radius is six inches: this, therefore, will be similar to the support of a child's cradle, and when used in an upright position, is rocked backwards and forwards on the plate, having the effect of ploughing up the surface; hence its name of cradle. The other tools are scrapers, shading-tools, and roulettes. The last named instruments are similar to the rowel of a spur, and are used to work off any additional part of the surface of the copper. The plate, after being polished in the usual manner, is divided equally by lines of soft chalk parallel to each other, the
distance between each line being equal to one-third of the length of the face of the cradle. This instrument is then placed between the two first lines at the top of the plate, and worked backwards and forwards in the same direction. This must be done very steadily, until the operator has completely ploughed up the surface of the plate. He thus goes on from line to line until the whole of the plate has been operated upon. Other lines are then chalked down at right angles to the former ones, and the same treatment of the plate is pursued in the new direction. A third order of lines is then drawn diagonally, and the same process with the cradle is observed. When this operation is completed, the plate is said to have undergone one turn. In order to produce a very dark and uniform ground, the plate must undergo a repetition of this tedious process at least twenty times. M. Bartsch says, that a plate of two feet long and eight inches broad requires three weeks to produce a jet-black impression, and a larger plate sometimes more than a month. In other kinds of engraving the artist has a clear burnished surface to work on, and his business is to work up his intended effect by a series of lines arranged according to what he wishes to represent; but in mezzotinto engraving the process of producing the picture is perfectly the reverse. Here the operator has a perfectly black surface to work upon, and his object is to arrive at the middle tints and extreme lights by removing more or less of the grained surface of the plate. This is effected with scrapers of different sizes. The strongest lights are taken out first, and many parts, where great clearness is required, are burnished. The different degrees of shading are then introduced, and afterwards the reflected lights. We have few instances now of pure mezzotinto being executed. The outline of the subject is almost always laid in with a strong bold etching, which gives greater effect, and relieves that extreme softuess which has been complained of in this branch of engraving. peculiar advantages, however, consist in the soft gradations of light, so that a good mezzotinto print appears as if it were executed with the brush. The number of impressions that can be taken from a plate are about 150; but by working up the plate again, after every 50 copies have been taken off, some 400 or 500 can be obtained. The immediate followers of Von Siegen are Johann Frederich van Eltz, and his pupil Johann Jacob Kremer, of about 1656; also Johann Jacobb, born at Vienna in 1733, with various others, the last of whom is Vinzenz Kininger, professor of mezzotinto in the Academy at Vienna. Wallerant Vaillant, born at Lisle in 1623, accompanied Prince Rupert to England, and he was there instructed by the prince in the art; he afterwards went to Paris, where he obtained great success in portraits. Abraham Blooleling, born at Amsterdam in 1634, came to England in 1673,