6100. Northcote mezzotinta engraving A Tyger 1790

Object description
NORTHCOTE, JAMES (after) - MURPHY, JOHN (engraver). A Tyger. London, John & Joshiah Boydell, 1790.

Mezzotinta engraving of a tiger, c. 485x605 mm. Engraving partly browned. Framed.

James Northcote (1746-1831), English portraitist and historical painter. Northcote was apprenticed to his father, a poor watchmaker of Plymouth, and, during his spare hours, learned to use paintbrush and pencil. In 1769 he left his father and started as a portrait painter. Four years later he went to London and was admitted as a pupil into the studio and house of the great portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1775 he left Reynolds, and about two years later, having acquired the necessary funds by portrait painting in Devon, he went to study in Italy. After his return to England three years later he settled (1781) in London, where John Opie and Henry Fuseli were his competitors. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1786 and full academician the following spring. Northcote's many portraits were clearly influenced by Reynolds. He also executed a number of competent but dull history paintings. The "Young Princes Murdered in the Tower," his first major historical work, dates from 1786, and it was followed by the "Burial of the Princes in the Tower," both paintings, along with seven others, being executed for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. The "Death of Wat Tyler" was exhibited in 1787. Perhaps his most individual painting, "Emperor Alexander I of Russia Rescuing a Boy from Drowning" (1820), reflects the melodramatic Romanticism then coming into fashion. (Encyclopaedia Britannica.)

A similar plate, but smaller and reversed, was published by Morgan.