|Published||Impensis J. & P. Knapton Londini 1738. [1743-1752]|
|Dimensions||Image 358 x 233 mm, Plate 373 x 235 mm, Sheet 495 x 335 mm|
A bust length portrait of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in profile to left, wearing a biretta and gown in an architectural oval on a pedestal with a medialion of Henry VIII, a snake, a pastoral hat, a crown, a mitre, a bag of coins, below a book and a scroll.
This portrait of Thomas Wolsey is from Thomas Birch's The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain. The portraits featured in the series, which were engraved by Jacob Houbraken and George Vertue, were originally issued from 1737 onwards in portfolios of four portraits. Between 1743 and 1752, the series was published by John and Paul Knapton in London in the form of Birch's The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, and contained biographies alongside the portraits. The number of plates included varied from edition to edition. Although the majority contained 108 plates, some editions contained as many as 120. Houbraken was responsible for producing a large proportion of the portraits, with Vertue only engraving around seven. The ornamental surroundings featured on the plates were engraved prior to the portraits, and were done so by Hubert-François Gravelot.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c. 1473-5 - November 29, 1530) English statesman and cardinal of the Catholic Church in England.
Jacob, or Jacobus, Houbraken (1698-1780) was a Dutch portrait engraver, and dealer and collector of Rembrandt's etchings. Born in Dordrecht, he was the son of the artist Arnold Houbraken. In 1707 he moved to Amsterdam, where he assisted his father on a book of the lives of the Dutch Golden Age artists, entitled De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen (1718-1721). Between 1743 and 1752, Houbraken worked with George Vertue on Thomas Birch's Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain. He also engraved the portraits for Jan van Gool's Nieuwe schouburg der Nederlantsche kunstschilders (1750-51). Between 1752 and 1759, he worked on Jan Wagenaar's Vaderlandsche historie, which was published by Isaac Tirion.
Ver Heull 39, O'Donohue 25
Condition: Excellent impression with full margins.