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John Boydell

etcher and publisher; Dorrington, Shropshire, 1719 – London 1804

“ His ambitious aim to raise English etching to the international level he achieved by large editions of prints after paintings of famous artists like R. Wilson, S. Rosa, N. Berchem, and others … B’s financial success enabled him to realize his greatest undertaking, the Shakespeare Gallery … He commissioned more than thirty eminent painters, including Füßli, W. Hamilton, A. Kauffmann, J. Opie, J. Reynolds, and G. Romney, to paint pictures from scenes of Shakespeare … As artist himself of second rank, B. nevertheless exerted an extraordinary effect on English art. Among the engravers employed by him were W. Blake, J. Dixon, and R. Earlom. For his great esteem B. had been elected mayor of London in 1790 ”

(Christian Hornig in AKL XIII [1996], p. 462).


“ I am curious as to the history of this (original Ridinger printing) plate (I just bought) and the others you have offered. Did you purchase them from the Ridinger estate (indirectly, indeed) or a private collector? These are truly rare one of a kind pieces ”

(Mr. L. A. F., October 28, 2003)