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

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview

performed by that prince, with his highness's mark, thus :

There is another of the same, in large : a man with a spear; and a woman's head looking down, in an oval; no name to it. These are all his works in mezzotinto. 1 Landscapes I think I have seen some etched by him; and in Jervase's sale were some small figures drawn loosely with the pen on white paper ; under them was written, Dessinati per il principe Roberto à Londra 23 Septembre. The earliest date of a mezzotinto that Vertue had seen was an oval head of Leopold William, Archduke of Austria, with this inscription—Theodorus Casparus à Furstenburgh, canonicus, ad vivum pinxit et fecit 1656. This person had undoubtedly received the secret before his highness returned to England. 2


WALLERANT [WARNER] VAILLANT, 3

(1623-1677,)

though a person of some reputation, belongs to this work in the light only of an engraver. He was born at Lisle in

____________________
1
"This obligation we have to his Highness P. Rupert, who has been pleased to cause the instruments to be expressly fitted, to shew me with his own hands how to manage and conduct them on the plate, that it might produce the effects I have so much magnified, and am here ready to show to the world, in a piece of his own illustrious touching, which he was pleased to honour this work withall, not as a venal addition to the price of the book (though for which alone, it is most valuable) but a particular grace, as a specimen of what we have alleged." P.147.

The following are noticed in Bryan's Dict. 1. A portrait of himself, in armour, which is marked as above, and dated 1556. 2. A Magdalene in contemplation, after Merian. 3. An executioner, holding a sword in one hand and the head of John the Baptist in the other, after Spagnoletto, in 1658. He engraved the head only of the executioner a second time, and presented it to Mr. Evelyn.—D.

2
Prince Rupert died in 1682, having completed his sixty-third year. He was never married. His executors sold his collection of pictures by auction. His jewels were estimated at 20.000l. It was determined to dispose of them by a lottery ; but before the public would purchase the tickets the following advertisement in the Gazette, in October, 1683, was considered to be necessary. "Prince Rupert's jewels are to be disposed of by lottery, at 5l. a piece—the biggest prize to be a great pearl necklace, valued at 8,000l.—and none less than 100l. To be drawn in His Majesty's presence ; who is pleased to declare that he himself will see all the prizes put in among the blanks, and that the whole shall be managed with all equity and fairness, nothing being intended but the sale of the jewels at a moderate value."

What a sketch is here presented of the times of Charles the Second, when the public could be secured from the fraudulent management of a private lottery only by the actual presence and interference of his majesty in person !—D.

3
This was a singularly ingenious family. Wallerant had three brothers, Bernard, James, and Andrew, highly estimated on the Continent for their talents in engraving and painting.—D.

-208-

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