Apollo Pythonem jaculans. [Apollo shooting the Python.]To Dr. Richard Mead Physician to His Majesty. _ This Plate is humbly inscrib'd by his most oblig'd & obedient Servant R. Dalton.
Etching, 530 x 375mm. 21 x 14¾". Horizontal crease through title.
A classical statue of Apollo wearing a cloak and with a quiver slung on his back, looking to right along his raised left arm. Behind his right hand is a tree-stump around which a snake is entwined. This statue is now part of the collection at the Villa Farnesina, Rome. Today owned by the Italian State, the villa hosts the Accademia dei Lincei, a long-standing and renowned Roman academy of sciences, and the Roman Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe (print room or Department for Drawings and Prints). One of a group of prints by Richard Dalton (c.1715 - 1791) and various other engravers, after drawings made by Dalton from antique statues which he saw in Rome, published in the 1740s. Some like this etching bear dedications from Dalton, which suggests that he was involved in the publication. Boydell published a set of twenty plates after Dalton's drawings, in 1770. Richard Dalton began his career as a painter, but then became an antiquarian-dealer, principally through his activities as Librarian to George, Prince of Wales (subsequently George III). He first travelled to Italy in 1739 to continue his studies, first at Bologna, then at Rome, where he specialised in highly finished red chalk drawings after classical statues. By mid-1741 Dalton had also become active as a dealer, particularly in prints. In 1749 he travelled with Roger Kynaston and John Frederick to Naples, South Italy, and Sicily, where they joined a party consisting of James Caulfeild, earl of Charlemont, Francis Pierpoint Burton, and others. From thence Dalton accompanied Lord Charlemont on his tour to Constantinople, Greece, and Egypt. He was the first Englishman to make drawings of the monuments of ancient art in these countries. Some of these he etched and engraved himself. A ‘Selection from the Antiquities of Athens’ was the first publication of its kind, but it was quickly put into the shade by the more accurate and trustworthy publications of James Stuart (1713-1788) and Nicholas Revett.
[Ref: 11825] £280.00