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RICHARD EARLOM London 1743 – 1822 London
after JOHAN (JOSEPH) ZOFFANY R. A. Frankfurt-am Main 1733 – 1810 London
The Royal Academy of Arts instituted by the King, in the Year 1768.
Mezzotint, after Johan Zoffany: 1773. Chaloner Smith 1, the first of two states, a scratched letter proof before the engraved inscription. The painting, first exhibited in 1772, is in the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1772.
A very fine impression with margins, three closed printer s creases not visible recto, otherwise in fine condition.
This collaboration between Zoffany and Earlom records the Royal Academy in 1768, the year of its inauguration under the patronage of King George III. It is scarcely necessary to note the importance of this first truly independent art academy, whose members were almost entirely self-governing and which was dedicated to the promotion of art made in Britain, whether or not by Royal Academicians.
This large group portrait, enlivened by brilliant facial characterizations, animated and informal exchanges between the academicians, and elegant modulation of light, remains one of the most impressive achievements of British mezzotint in large scale portraiture.