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The Musical Boy

A work made of mezzotint in black on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of mezzotint in black on cream laid paper.




James Watson (Irish, c. 1740-1790)
after Frans Hals (Dutch, 1582/83-1666)

About this artwork

The Irish-born mezzotint engraver James Watson reproduced paintings from several British collections with the highlights and soft-focus transitions this relatively new print medium enabled. This mezzotint is an early proof after a painting by the Dutch artist Frans Hals. Later impressions include the completed text, which states that this work was then owned by Lord Mountstuart and notes that it was reproduced at actual size. Watson’s publisher, John Boydell, one of the most active in London, was particularly keen on supplying his audience with prints after famous artworks, preferably those owned by members of the British nobility.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


James Watson


The Musical Boy


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Mezzotint in black on cream laid paper


Image: 34.3 × 27.5 cm (13 9/16 × 10 7/8 in.); Sheet: 37 × 27.5 cm (14 5/8 × 10 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Wallace L. DeWolf and Joseph Brooks Fair Collections

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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