|Artist||George Vertue after Johannes Kerseboom|
|Published||Impress J & P Knapton London 1740. [1743-1752]|
|Dimensions||Image 355 x 223 mm, Plate 365 x 240 mm, Sheet 490 x 337 mm|
A bust length portrait of Robert Boyle turned to right but looking at the viewer, wearing a loose robe and long wig in an oval decorated with tulips and palm leaves, a clouds with sun rays piercing through to upper left, all behind a pedeastal with a coat of arms on it, scientific instruments bottom right and books and instruments on the pedestal.
This portrait of Robert Boyle 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.
Robert Boyle (1627 - 1691) was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He is best known for Boyle's law. Although his research clearly has its roots in the alchemical tradition, he is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry. Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry.
George Vertue (1684-1756) was an antiquary and engraver. Vertue had a deep interest in antiquarian research, and much of his work was devoted to this subject. From 1713 onwards, Vertue dedicated his research on details of the history of British art, resultings in extensive notebooks now in the British Library. The contents of which were the basis of Horace Walpole's 1762 Anecdotes of Painting. There are approximately five hundred portraits are attributed to Vertue, an equivalent number of published plates were devoted to antiquarian subjects.
Little is known regarding Johannes Kerseboom other than he was a portrait painter in London. He died in 1708.
Ver Huell 78, Alexander 808, O' Donoghue 5
Condition: Excellent impression with good wide margins, stain in upper left margin not affecting the plate.