[The exposition of Cyrus.]
Publish'd Sep 1st. 1781 by John Boydell engraver in Cheapside London. [Houghton Gallery]
Fine impression, scratched with artists' names and publication line, centre crest. Framed mezzotint 370 x 285mm, 14½ x 11¼ inches. Framed in 19th Century ebonized frame with period gilt slip. Unexamined out of the frame, appears to be laid on board with central crease.
Cyrus, the greatest King of Persia, was abandoned as a baby in the wilderness due to a prophecy that frightened his grandfather. Woodland scene with a naked young boy lying on a cloth in the foreground, guarded by dogs; to right, a herdsman and a woman, presumably Mithridates and his wife Cyno, surprised at the sight; to left, a curved stone frieze of soldiers, surmounted by a crown and a naked child holding up a shield; to right, a boy looking on from behind Mithridates' sheep; fields and cattle in the background at centre. 'The Houghton Gallery', a set of 162 prints reproducing paintings from the collection of Sir Robert Walpole at Houghton. The project was initiated by John Boydell after it had become increasingly likely that the collection formed by Robert Walpole at Hougthon would have to be sold (the paintings were eventually sold to Catherine of Russia in 1778 and are now part of the Hermitage's collections). The plates were published from 1774 to 1788, when they were gathered in two volumes (first volume of 62 plates, with 60 numbered plates, a frontispiece and a title-page; second volume of 71 plates, with 69 numbered plates, a frontispiece and a title-page). See Ref: 14399 & 14400 for line engravings from the same painting.
Ex: Collection of The Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd.
[Ref: 15318] £420.00