|Method||Mezzotint with hand colouring|
|Published||Published 12th May, 1794. by Laurie & Whittle, 53, Fleet Street, London.|
|Dimensions||Images 325 x 250 mm, Plates 355 x 255 mm, Sheets 365 x 265 mm|
Scenes of the Four Seasons, accompanied by lines from James Thompson's poem 'Seasons'.
Spring: A scene showing a young couple cradling a bird's nest in their hands. A third figure, a young woman, is to the right of the couple and is gathering garlands of lowers in a wicker basket.
Summer: A scene showing a young couple holding hands whilst watching a group of figures harvesting a wheat field. A pair of young children are to the left of the couple with bundles of wheat in their hands. A face is seen peering through the trees to the right.
Autumn: A scene showing a young couple seated beneath some trees. The young woman is presenting what appears to be a pineapple to the young man. The young man has his arms around the woman, she has an abundance of fruit on her lap. In the background to the right is a hunting scene with two figures and two dogs.
Winter: A scene showing a couple arm in arm watching figures skating on an ice rink. The woman is wearing a large fur muff, the man in a military uniform. To the left of the couple is a small child with a small dog jumping up.
Robert Laurie (c.1755-1836) was a British engraver, mezzotint artist, and publisher. In 1776, he was awarded a prize by the Society of Arts for the invention of a method of producing colour-printed mezzotints. Laurie succeeded the publisher Robert Sayer after the latter's death in 1794, and, in partnership with James Whittle, continued Sayer's prolific and well-established business on the Fleet Street, issuing prints, maps, illustrated books, charts, and nautical works. Following Laurie's retirement in 1812, Whittle continued in business with his former partner's son, Richard Holmes Laurie, who gained sole ownership of the business in 1818 with the death of Whittle.
Condition: Professionally repaired margins and tears to sheets, toning to sheets, heavy toning to versos from previous backings.