Thomas Watson (engraver)

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Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey. A mezzotint engraving by Watson, published in 1774 after the original portrait by Daniel Gardner. Mw37372.jpg
Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey. A mezzotint engraving by Watson, published in 1774 after the original portrait by Daniel Gardner.

Thomas Watson (1750–1781) was a fine engraver in mezzotint and in stipple. His early prints were published in alliance with the book and printsellers Samuel Hooper and Walter Shropshire. Between 1773 and 1776, he exhibited with the Society of Artists. [1] In 1778 he went into partnership with William Dickinson. [2]

Mezzotint printmaking process

Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening a metal plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth, called a "rocker". In printing, the tiny pits in the plate retain the ink when the face of the plate is wiped clean. This technique can achieve a high level of quality and richness in the print.

Society of Artists of Great Britain art society in London

The Society of Artists of Great Britain was founded in London in May 1761 by an association of artists in order to provide a venue for the public exhibition of recent work by living artists, such as was having success in the long-established Paris salons. Leading members seceded from the society in 1768, a move leading directly to the formation of the Royal Academy of Arts. The society was dissolved 1791 after years of decline.

William Dickinson (engraver) English mezzotint engraver

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Daniel Gardner British artist

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References

  1. Timothy Clayton, Anita McConnell, ‘Watson, Thomas (1750–1781)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Dickinson, William (1746-1823)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 15. London: Smith, Elder & Co.