Anecdotes of Painting in England: With Some Account of the Principal Artists - Vol. 3

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview
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travellers, that he concluded he should make a fortune in England : he came over—and starved. He executed whole figures in small, and vases, with perfect taste and judgment, and carved also in wood. He had a son who to the same arts added painting, but died young in 1749, before his father. The latter did not survive above a year.

It would be injustice to omit the late Mr. Gosset, and his nephew, who has excelled his uncle, and carried the art of taking likenesses in wax to surprising perfection.


MEDALLISTS.

JOHN DASSIER,

(1678—1763,) 1

though never in England, is certainly entitled to a place in this catalogue. He was medallist to the republic of Geneva, 2 and aspiring to be employed in the Mint here, struck a series of the kings of England, in a better style than our medals had been of late years. Some of the heads indeed were not taken from true originals, but the temples and monuments on the reverses were well designed and executed. He published them by subscription in 1731, at six guineas for thirty-three medals in copper and fifteen in silver. His brother James had been here three or four years before, to endeavour to procure a place in our Mint for John ; but none being vacant, Sir Andrew Fountaine, the celebrated virtuoso and patron of artists, and Mr. Conduit, who had married Sir Isaac Newton's niece, and who were the persons then directing the Mint, offered a pension of 50l. a-year to Dassier till Mr. Croker should die ; but he was not content with the offer. James Antony Dassier, nephew of John, came over, and on Croker's death in 1740 was next year appointed second engraver to the Mint, and

____________________
1
[Fiissli, Geschichte der besten Mahler in der Schweitz.—W.]
2
"About 1740, and for some years before and after, Dassier, a native of Geneva, settling in London, engraved a series of medals of all the English kings, with great taste and spirit. They are struck upon fine copper, and amount to thirty-six in number. He likewise gave medals of many illustrious men of this and other nations ; all of which deserve considerable praise."—Pinkerton on Coins, vol. ii p. 115.—D.

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