Saturday, 20 August 2016

Andrew Miller’s 18th century mezzotint of Veronese’s “Venus with a Mirror”


Andrew Miller (c.1690/fl.1739–63)
“Venus with a Mirror”, 1740 after a painting by Paolo Veronese (1528–88) published by John Bowles (1701?–79).
Mezzotint engraving on fine laid paper with small margins
Size: (sheet) 37.5 x 27.8 cm; (plate) 36.4 x 25.2 cm; (image borderline) 31.2 x 24.9 cm
Lettered below the image borderline: (lower-left corner) “From a Capital Picture of Paulo Veronese.”; (lower-right corner) “And.w Miller Fecit.”; (lower centre) two columns of poetry in two lines, beginning: “Veil, Happy Fair One! ... / Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill 1740.”
This rare print is not in the collection of The British Museum, nevertheless, the museum offers 73 other prints by Miller: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?people=114724&peoA=114724-2-60
Note that the British Museum in providing biographical details about Miller advise: “His work is very rare.”
For solid biographic details about Andrew Miller, see “A Dictionary of Irish Artists” (1913): http://www.libraryireland.com/irishartists/andrew-miller.php
Condition: excellent impression in marvellous condition (i.e. there are no holes, tears, folds or foxing).

I am selling this superb quality and very rare mezzotint for AU$144 in total (currently US$109.66/EUR97.10/GBP83.87 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this subtlety executed old master print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


Only a top mezzotint artist could make this fine print, as the medium is so technically demanding. Miller was trained in the time-consuming craft of a mezzotint engraver by the famous and prolific specialist in this medium, John Faber, Jr. (1684–1756).

For those that may be unfamiliar with this somewhat rare medium of mezzotint, the process begins “by roughening the plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth called a ‘rocker’” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezzotint). If the plate were inked and printed at this beginning stage, the resulting print would be flat black image created out of thousands/millions of dots. To add light tones to the roughened plate, a metal burnisher is employed to literally scrape away the surface pitting until the various tones of the envisaged image are achieved. When the burnished plate is then printed, the resulting image has a soft, rich luminosity that would be difficult to achieve using any other printing technique.




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