|Francesco Bartolozzi after Thomas Stothard
|Image 104 x 210 mm, Plate 246 x 380 mm, Sheet 306 x 471 mm
A proof plate of Satan, originally engraved for Jeffryes & Co.'s publication of Milton's Paradise Lost (1792-3). Bartolozzi's Milton plates were reprinted a number of times in the early 19th century. In 1815, they were reprinted as an illustrative set by John Hill, and in 1818, were combined with Bartolozzi's Shakespeare plates by H. M'Lean to 'form an elegant library accompaniment to the various editions of these authors' (De Vesme & Calabi, 1928: 438). The original publication line, for Jeffryes & Co, has been removed from the current printing.
In the illustration, Satan, having been cast out of Heaven, lies prone upon the Lake of Fire, surrounded by his fellow fallen angels in utmost pain and confusion. Bartolozzi's physical depiction of the fallen angels also suggests their transition from Grace to Perdition. Whilst Satan's upper half retains the beauty and perfection of form appropriate to his angelic origins, his legs already begin to show the scales of the serpent. Likewise, although Satan still has his feathered wings, the visible part of the wings of the angel at his feet are dark and bat-like.
Thomas Stothard (17th August 1755 - 27th April 1834) was an English painter, illustrator, and engraver, best known for his illustrations to poetic work. He is particularly noted for his illustrations to the poems of Ossian, purported to be the author of an epic cycle published by James Macpherson and commonly hailed as a progenitor of the British Romantic movement.
Francesco Bartolozzi (21st September 1727 - 7th March 1815) was an Italian engraver, best known for his engravings for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, and those after Angelica Kauffman and Cipriani. Working initially on landscape and architectural engravings in Venice and Rome, in 1764 he moved to London, which began his most prolific period.
Condition: Heavy foxing to margins, gilt-edged sheet.