|Mezzotint with hand colouring
|Valentine Green after Lemuel Francis Abbott
|Published Novr. 22d. 1790 by L.F. Abbott Caroline Street Bedford Square.
|Image 602 x 430 mm, Plate 655 x 432 mm, Sheet 737 x 525 mm
Inscribed below image: "Painted by L. F. Abbott 1790.", "Engraved by V. Green Mezzotinto Engraver to his Majesty & the Elector Palatine" and below title: "This Plate is, with just Respect, Dedicated by Their most humble Servant Lemuel Francis Abbott."
A very rare, large-scale, mezzotint portrait of William Innes 'The Blackheath Golfer' alongside an unnamed Greenwich Hospital Naval pensioner serving as his caddie, shown on the heath near Greenwich. This is the earliest, and the most widely recognised golfing print ever published. This full-length portrait is after the life-size painting by Lemuel Francis Abbott, commissioned by William Innes in 1790. Innes, a sugar merchant from London, was captain of the Society of Golfers at Blackheath, now Royal Blackheath Golf Club, England's oldest golf club. He is depicted wearing a long red coat with a long-nosed golf club over his shoulder, clutching his glove and a 'Feathery' golf ball in his left hand. Behind Innes is his caddie in a tri-corn hat, carrying seven more clubs and a bottle of alcohol tucked in his coat pocket.
Valentine Green (1739-1813) was a British mezzotinter; Associate Royal Academician and publisher, often in association with his son Rupert. In 1773 he was appointed mezzotint engraver to the King George III and in 1774 he became a member of the Royal Academy. In 1775, he was appointed mezzotint engraver to Karl Theodor, Elector Palatine, and in 1789, he worked on the engraving and publishing of pictures in the Düsseldorf Gallery. Green was one of the first engravers to show how admirably mezzotint could be applied to the translation of pictorial compositions as well as portraits. His engravings are distinguished by exceptional richness, subtlety of tone, and a deft handling of light and shade.
Lemuel Francis Abbott (1760/61- 1803) was an English portrait painter, most well known for his painting of Horatio Nelson, and those of Captain William Innes and Henry Callender of Blackheath Golf Club. Abbott studied under Francis Hayman and although he exhibited at the Royal Academy, he never became an Academician. It is said that overwork, due to the commissions he took on, and domestic unhappiness led to him being declared insane in 1798.
Chaloner Smith 75, Russell 75, O'Donohue 1, Lennox- Boyd i/i
Condition: Good impression on laid paper with two unidentified watermarks, one of a rectangle surmounted with a house and birds, and the other two lines of indistinguishable text. Even toning to image from previous mounting and framing, heavier toning to margins. Old framing tape to verso at top.