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Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780) - Early 19th Century Engraving, Sir William Temple

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An early 19th Century restrike engraving by Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780), depicting a portrait of Sir William Temple, after a painting by Peter Lely. Signed in plate. On wove.


The condition is typical for a picture of this age including some discolouration. Some minor creasing to the corners.


34.6 x 20.9cm (13.6" x 8.2")
Sheet: 45.6 x 28.7cm (18" x 11.3")

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Artist Biography

Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780) was a Dutch engraver, apprenticed under his father, Arnold Houbraken (1660-1719). Houbraken’s style was similar to the portrait engravers of the great seventeenth century French school, most notably, Nanteuil, Drevet and Edelinck. He surpassed these masters in his ability to capture textures and tones. The Italian engraver, Raphael Morghen said, “No engraver has ever equalled, and probably will not equal, the Dutchman Jacobus Houbraken, in the manner of imitating the flesh and the hair by means of the graver.”

He was sought after by both English and Dutch publishers. His most famous engravings for English publication were those for the historical series, "The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain", published in parts in London between 1734 and 1752. He worked alongside George Vertue (1684-1756), but most of the great portrayals were left to Houbraken, including those of Newton, Pope, Dryden, Shakespeare and Milton. Under the framed portrait of each individual, he designed and engraved the vignettes and objects associated with each person. Jacobus Houbraken's most important set of original portrait engravings, The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, required almost twenty years to complete. The set contains one hundred and eight portraits of British luminaries dating from the 14th to early 18th centuries including Kings, Queens, noblemen, politicians, writers, scientists and philosophers.

More Information
Code pp804
Artist Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780)
Date Early 19th Century
Dimensions 34.6 x 20.9cm
Medium Engraving
Style Realism
Subject Portrait
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