Sir Francis Walsingham

Method Copper engraving
Artist Jacobus Houbraken after Federico Zuccaro
Published Impensis J. & P. Knapton Londini 1738
Dimensions Image 358 x 223 mm, Plate 374 x 235 mm, Sheet 497 x 342 mm
Notes A bust length portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham turned to left facing the viewer wearing a lace ruff, dark brocade jacket and a dark cloak over it, in an architectural oval with mirror, a snake, a seal, letters, and an owl perched on a book; a vignette of Queen Elizabeth looking at a painting presented to her below.

This portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham 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.

Sir Francis Walsingham Sir Francis Walsingham (c. 1532 – 6 April 1590) was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster".

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.

Federico Zuccaro, also known as Federico Zuccari (c. 1540/1 - August 6 1609) was an Italian Mannerist painter who work in Italy, Spain, France and England.

Ver Huell 21, O'Donoghue 2

Condition: A good early impression with full margins with light overall time toning to sheet.
Framing unmounted
Price £120.00
Stock ID 44754

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