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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has appeared in this country. The number of those whose works deserve intrinsic regard, abstracted from their scarcity, or the curiosity of the persons and objects represented, is very small, and soon enumerated. The family of Pass were singularly neat; Hollar still surpassed them, and in branches to which their art never extended. Vorst and Vosterman shone in a higher style. Lombart added roundness to delicacy, and was even a great performer if compared with most of his successors, of whom Robert White seems to have declined the least. John Smith carried the new discovered art of mezzotinto to the greatest perfection we have seen it attain. The last, John Faber, in some things was, though far inferior, a good workman. Kirkall, commonly a wretched labourer, had singular merit in one branch that will be mentioned. Mr. Strange, ashamed of the creeping and venal style to which the art was sunk in Britain, has given us the works of Italian masters, with a tool worthy of Italian engravers. But yet there had been one Englishman, who, without the timid perfection of French masters, had shown that softness and force, freedom and finishing, were compatible, and that the effect of chiaro-scuro did not depend upon unblended masses of white and black : this was


WILLIAM FAITHORNE.

(— 1691.)

He was born in London, 1 in what year is uncertain, 2 and bred under Peake, 3 painter and printseller, afterwards knighted, 4 with whom he worked for three or four years before the eruption of the civil war, and whom he accompanied into the king's service. Being made prisoner at Basing-house, Faithorne was brought to London, and

____________________
1
This account is taken from a MS. of Vertue's, who received the particulars from Mr. Bagford, librarian to Lord Oxford, and intimate with Faithorne; and from another of his friends, Mr. W. Hill Charke.

A life of FAITHORNE is preserved in the British Museum, among Bagford's Papers.—D.

2
V. First volume of this work.
3
Graham says he was about seventy-five when he died.—Eng. School, p. 417.
4
Old Faithorne was apprenticed to Sir W. Peake and Sir George Humble, both of whom were made knights. Pepys' Memoirs.—D.

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