|Artist||Peltro Williams Tomkins after Henry Fuseli|
|Published||Painted by H. Fuseli. Engraved by P.W. Tomkins, late pupil of Fr. Bartolozzi. London Publish'd as the Act Directs Aust. 16 1787 by T. Macklin Fleet St.|
|Dimensions||Image 455 x 355 mm, Plate 535 x 415 mm, Sheet 540 x 418 mm|
A very fine proof before letters of Tomkins' rare stipple of Prince Arthur's Vision, after the painting by Henry Fuseli. The scene shows the young Arthur asleep in a wooded grove, watched over by a maiden dressed in white. Various sprites watch on, emerging from the gloom. The scene is derived initially from Spenser's Faerie Queene, with the young prince representing the future King of the Britons and the maiden a poetic allusion to Spenser's own monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
Peltro William Tomkins (1759-1840) entered the Royal Academy schools in 1775, and was taught to engrave by Francesco Bartolozzi. Tomkins gave drawing lessons to the daughters of George III, and in 1793, he was appointed historical engraver to Queen Charlotte. He was a major book illustrator and engraved the plates for 'The British Gallery of Pictures', 'Thomson's Seasons', 'Tresham's Gallery of Pictures' (1814) and 'Illustrations of Modern Scripture' (1832).
Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) was an Anglo-Swiss painter, draughtsman, writer and collector of Old Master prints. He was classically educated and held a particular interest for literature which often extended into the themes of his work. Fuseli was encouraged by Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint, but was never academically, nor technically trained. He settled in England in 1779, and became the Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy twenty years later.
He made several contributions to Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and opened a gallery dedicated to Milton in 1799.
Condition: Trimmed to plate mark at top and bottom of sheet. Small chips, tears, and creases to edges of sheet, not affecting image. Minor marginal scuffing and surface dirt. Framed in a hand gilded frame.