George Graham: An original Mezzotint by John Faber
Engraver: John Faber Jnr after Thomas Hudson
Publisher: Robert Sayer, London
Mezzotint on wove paper Circa 1740
Thought to be in original frame
A similar copy by Thomas Ryley is in The National Portrait Gallery; ref. NPG D2470 as follows: George Graham by Thomas Ryley, sold by Robert Sayer, after Thomas Hudson Mezzotint, circa 1740 14⅛ in. x 10 in. (358 mm x 254 mm) paper size Acquired, 1869 Reference Collection: NPG D2470
George Graham is best known as a leading horologist and maker of scientific instruments in the 18th century, but his contribution to the study of astronomy was also of great importance and significance.
John Faber Jnr was born in The Hague in 1684, the son of the artist John Faber Snr, from whom he learned the art of mezzotint and drawing following their move to London, where he was enrolled at the St. Martin's Lane Academy founded by Louis Cheron and John Vanderbank. A prolific portraitist, Faber became a well-respected engraver of portraits. Sir Godfrey Kneller and Peter Lely had him make prints after their works. He is best remembered for his forty-seven plates of members of the Kit-Cat Club after Kneller and a series of twelve portraits entitled Beauties of Hampton Court. In later life Faber resided at the Golden Head in Bloomsbury Square, London, where he died of complications from gout on the 2nd May 1756. Reference: The National Portrait Gallery; The National Biography.
Thomas Hudson (1701-1779) was a portrait painter, born in Devon. He trained under the successful portrait painter Jonathan Richardson, later marrying his daughter. He had many artistic friends including William Hogarth, Allan Ramsay and Francis Hayman. Hudson retained these connections, travelling to France, Holland and Flanders with Hogarth and Hayman in 1748 and to Italy with the sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac in 1752. Having established his own portrait-painting practice, Hudson became increasingly fashionable. As the number of commissions grew, he employed drapery painters to assist him. His many pupils included Joshua Reynolds and Joseph Wright of Derby. Ref: The National Portrait Gallery