Sr. Philip Sydney

Method Copper engraving
Artist Jacobus Houbraken after Isaac Oliver
Published Impensis J. & P. Knapton Londini, 1744.
Dimensions Image 359 x 223 mm, Plate 370 x 235 mm, Sheet 491 x 339 mm
Notes A bust length portrait of Sir Philip Sidney turned to left but facing the viewer, wearing armour and a ruff, in an architectural oval.

This portrait of Sir Philip Sidney 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 Philip Sidney (November 20, 1554-October 17, 1586) was one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. Born at Penhurst Place, Kent, he was the son of Sir Henry Sidney and godson of Philip II of Spain. He is known for his poetry, as a scholar, courtier, and soldier.

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.Inscription below title reads: 'In the Collection of Sir Brownlow Sherrard Bart.'

Isaac Oliver (1565 – 1617) was a French-born English portraitist. Born in Rouen, he moved to London in 1568 with his Huguenot parents Peter and Epiphany Oliver to escape the Wars of Religion in France. He then studied miniature painting under Nicholas Hilliard; and developed a naturalistic style, which was largely influenced by Italian and Flemish art.

Ver Huell 88, O'Donoghue 4

Condition: Excellent early impression with full margins, some staining in the top of the plate.
Framing unmounted
Price £80.00
Stock ID 44762

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