Mrs. Abington as Thalia by Engraver Francesco Bartolozzi
Mrs. Abington as Thalia by Engraver Francesco Bartolozzi

Mrs. Abington as Thalia

Mrs. Abington as Thalia c1783 by Italian Engraver Francesco Bartolozzi (1727 – 1815); as well as a painter, a founding member of the Royal Academy and known for popularizing the crayon method of engraving.

In this image Mrs. Abington embodies Thalia (one of the nine Greek Muses), she is the Muse of music, dance, comedy and idyllic poetry, and we see her here with the face mask of comedy in her right hand as she places a crown of laurels on the head of a bust of Shakespeare.

The bust of Shakespeare also wrapped in laurel leaves and is placed on a short column pedestal, that itself in placed on a larger marble pedestal in what appears to be a garden in front of a tree.

Mrs. Abington is wearing a two piece flowing gown that is wrapped around her with flowers in her hair, ankle wraped sandals, a pearl necklace, bracelet and other jewelry; while at her feet lie a cane and tambourine.

Finally in the background we can see a mountain range, forest that line the coast, and different plants and flowers.

Mrs. Abington as Thalia is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below Derived From

Francesco Bartolozzi

Francesco Bartolozzi was born in Florence, and as was the custom of the time, it was thought that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a gold and silver smith.

This though would change since the young Bartolozzi showed a great deal of skill and taste in designing; as a result he was thus placed under the supervision of two Florentine artists, including Italian Painter Ignazio Hugford (1703 – 1778) and Italian Rococo Style Painter Giovanni Domenico Ferretti (1692 – 1768) who instructed him in painting.

After three years of art training, he went to Venice to study engraving; and spent six years working for German Engraver and Draughtsman Joseph Wagner (1706 – 1780), an engraver and printseller, before setting up his own workshop.

The first engraving Francesco Bartolozzi produced in Venice were plates in the style of Italian Baroque Period Painter Marco Ricci (1676 – 1730) and Giacomo Francesco Zuccarelli (1702 – 1788) a Late Baroque or Rococo Period Landscape Painter.

Then in 1762 Bartolozzi moved to Rome for a short period of time, where he completed a set of engravings representing frescoes at Grottaferrata by Italian Baroque Painter Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri 1581 – 1641) depicting the life of St Nilus.

That set of engravings and his etchings of old master’s works, began to draw public attention throughout Europe; and in 1763 he met Richard Dalton (1715 – 1791), draughtsman, engraver and the English Royal Librarian who was traveling in Italy looking for acquisitions for King George III art collection.

Dalton offered him an appointment as Engraver to the King; which Bartolozzi accepted and left for London in 1764; where he lived for 42 years.

During his time in London he produced a large number of engravings, which included Clytie after Italian Painter Annibale Carracci (1560 – 1609), and of the Virgin and Child, after Italian Baroque Painter Carlo Dolci (1616/7 – 1686).

A large proportion of them are from the works of Italian Painter Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727 – 1785) and British Painter Angelica Kauffman (1741 – 1807). Bartolozzi also contributed a number of plates to Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery.

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