Two bunches a penny primroses, two bunches a penny.A un sou mes deux poignees de primeroses, a un sou.
London Pub.d as the Act Directs July 2 by Colnaghi and Co N.132 Pall Mall. 1793.
Stipple, printed in sepia, with large margins. 420 x 330mm (16½ x 13").
Flower sellers, a young woman and two small children, hold baskets and bunches of primroses on the street. This is one of thirteen plates in Wheatley’s ‘Cries of London’, the most famous version of a popular theme in English printmaking. The shouts and songs of the street traders advertising their wares were a part of city life and inspired a number of artists of different styles, from these idealised scenes to the more raucous caricatures drawn by Rowlandson. Francis Wheatley (1747-1801) exhibited fourteen painted ‘Cries’ at the Royal Academy between 1792-5, with enough success for Colnaghi to commission some of the best engravers in England, including brothers Luigi and Niccolo Schiavonetti, Giovanni Vendramini & Thomas Gaugain to reproduce thirteen of the series in stipple. These were available as separate prints or as a set and were a great success (even abroad, as denoted by the French version of the titles), and have remained popular to this day.
[Ref: 28149] £320.00