About this artwork
John Boydell embarked on a monumental publication documenting the art collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister. Boydell contracted 45 engravers to create 162 prints, of which Richard Earlom’s are considered the most notable.
Motivated by nationalistic pride, Boydell sought to broadcast British patronage and connoisseurship of art to an international audience, as well as to encourage Parliament to purchase the collection for the nation from Walpole’s grandson. His efforts were not entirely successful; Catherine the Great, the empress of Russia, eventually acquired the entirety of Walpole’s holdings. Regarded as one of the finest groupings of Old Master European paintings, these works—including A Fruit Market (1618/21) by Frans Snyders, reproduced in this mezzotint by Earlom—can be seen at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Richard Earlom
- A Fruit Market, from The Houghton Gallery
- Mezzotint with engraving in black ink on ivory wove paper
- Inscribed recto lower right, in plate below image: “Richd,, Earlom Sculpsit.”; lower left: “Snyders & Long John Pinxerunt.”; lower center: “John Boydell excudit 1775./ Richd,, Earlom Sculpsit./ In the Gallery at Houghton./ Published March 25th, 1775 by John [coat of arms] Boydell Engraver, in Cheapside London.”
- 359 × 572 mm (image); 415 × 576 mm (plate); 500 × 672 mm (sheet)
- Gift of Thomas B. Marston and Henry N. Tuttle