Mad about Mezzotint

At the Court of George III

David Isaac

Publication date:
June 2022
Publisher :
Paul Holberton Publishing
Illustration :
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ISBN : 9781913645359

Dimensions : 270 X 220 mm


This handsome catalogue accompanies an exhibition celebrating the bicentenary of the 60-year reign of King George III. It presents one mezzotint portrait for each year of his reign.

Mad about Mezzotint traces the history of mezzotint in the reign of King George III by looking at three aspects of the art form: the astonishing method of mezzotint, the absorbing history of the form in the late eighteenth century and Regency period and the endless fascination with London as a subject.

Although the mezzotint originated in Germany as early as 1642, its golden age came in England in the eighteenth century. Its beauty lay in its ability to create the subtlety of tone found in an oil painting. Crowds marvelled at the new technique and seized upon the opportunity to popularize their work and disseminate their images more widely. Conditions in eighteenth-century London were ripe for this revolution in printing. England had a new king and queen on the throne, an ever-expanding court and flourishing commercial interests overseas. The city of London was expanding at an astonishing rate and money was pouring into the capital.

This fully illustrated publication includes an introduction on the history of mezzotint and full catalogue of the works, as well as indexes of artists and persons depicted. Artists featured include Valentine Green, John Hoppner, John Jones, Joshua Reynolds, George Romney and Charles Turner. People depicted include King George, George, Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Admiral Horatio Nelson and Earl and Lady Spencer.