Thomas Watson (engraver)

Last updated

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

William Dickinson (1746–1823) was an English mezzotint engraver.

His works include engravings from paintings by his brother-in-law, Daniel Gardner; and include an engraving of lawyer, Andrew Stuart from a portrait by Joshua Reynolds.

Daniel Gardner British artist

Daniel Gardner was a British painter, best known for his work as a portraitist. He established a fashionable studio in Bond Street in London, specializing in small scale portraits in pastel, crayons or gouache, often borrowing Reynolds' poses.

Andrew Stuart was a Scottish lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1774 and 1801.

Joshua Reynolds 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits

Sir Joshua Reynolds was an English painter, specialising in portraits. John Russell said he was one of the major European painters of the 18th century. He promoted the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was a founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, and was knighted by George III in 1769.

Related Research Articles

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham British Prime Minister

Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham,, styled The Hon. Charles Watson-Wentworth before 1733, Viscount Higham between 1733 and 1746, Earl of Malton between 1746 and 1750 and The Marquess of Rockingham in 1750 was a British Whig statesman, most notable for his two terms as Prime Minister of Great Britain. He became the patron of many Whigs, known as the Rockingham Whigs, and served as a leading Whig grandee. He served in only two high offices during his lifetime, but was nonetheless very influential during his one and a half years of service.

Martin Madan English barrister, clergyman and writer

Martin Madan was an English barrister, clergyman and writer, known for his contribution to Methodist music, 'The Lock Hospital Collection,' and later controversial views on marriage expressed in his book Thelyphthora.

Joseph Milner (1744–1797), an English evangelical divine, has a reputation particularly for his work on The History of the Church of Christ (1794–1809).

George Thomas Doo was an English engraver.

Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham British politician

Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham, KB, PC (I) of Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire was a British Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1715 until 1728 when he was raised to the Peerage as Baron Malton.

Thomas Macklin was a British 18th-century printseller and picture dealer.

John Thomas (bishop of Winchester) Bishop of Winchester

John Thomas was an English bishop.

William Buller Bishop of Exeter; Dean of Canterbury; Dean of Exeter

William Buller (1735–1796) was an English clergyman who served as Bishop of Exeter from 1792 to 1796.

Luke Clennell English wood engraver and painter

Luke Clennell was a British wood-engraver and painter.

Thomas Townson (1715–1792) was an English churchman and writer, archdeacon of Richmond from 1781.

Thomas Hearne (artist) English landscape painter, engraver and illustrator

Thomas Hearne was an English landscape painter, engraver and illustrator. Hearne's watercolours were typified by applying a wash of subtle subdued colours over a clear outline in fine brush, pen or pencil. His techniques were studied by younger artists such as Thomas Girtin and J. M. W. Turner.

John Warwick Smith British watercolour landscape painter and illustrator

John "Warwick" Smith was a British watercolour landscape painter and illustrator.

Thomas Fielding, was an English engraver.

John Baxter (1781–1858) was an English printer and publisher.

Charles Parsons Knight (1743–1827?) was an English engraver.

Foote Gower Church of England clergyman and antiquary

Foote Gower (1725/6–1780) was an English cleric, academic and antiquarian.

William Holl the Elder English engraver and radical

William Holl, the elder (1771–1838) was an English engraver, thought to be of German background, and a political radical.

Benjamin Thomas Pouncy was an English draughtsman and engraver.


  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.