|Artist||Jacobus Houbraken after Samuel Cooper|
|Published||Impensis J. & P. Knapton Londini 1738. [1743-1752]|
|Dimensions||Image 357 x 222 mm, Plate 371 x 236 mm, Sheet 492 x 340 mm|
A half length portrait of John Thurloe wearing a doublet with long hair, head turned to right, in an architectural oval with a vignette of him and Oliver Cromwell with a cherub holding a quill to the right and mask with a snake going through the eyes below.
This portrait of John Thurloe 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.
John Thurloe (June 1616- February 21, 1688) was the Secretary of State under Oliver Cromwell, spymaster, and Chief Postmaster of England. After the Restoration he was accused of high treason but allowed his liberty as a result of his good character.
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 Huell 53, O'Donoghue
Condition: Excellent impression with good full margins.