Pen lithograph, rare; sheet 235 x 325mm (9¼ x 12¾"). Hinged to original aquatint mount (watermarked J. Whatman 1801), platemark 330 x 425mm (13 x 16¾").
One of the twelve pen lithographs from 'Specimens of Polyauthography', the first set of artist's lithographs ever published (by Philipp André in 1803). The new medium allowed artists to draw directly onto a prepared stone, allowing artists to make prints which arguably resembled drawings more than any earlier printmaking technique. Unlike many printmaking techniques, lithography required no special training as artists could work directly onto the plate and leave specialist printers to actually make the prints. For this reason many artists who were not trained printmakers (such as Géricault and Delacroix) often worked in lithography. By Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842), painter, writer and diplomat. Porter made his name painting large military scenes such as 'The Storming of Seringapatam' (ex. 1800, later destroyed in a fire), and the subject of this print reflects the usual subject matter of Porter's work at this time. In 1805 he was invited by Alexander I to paint historical murals for the admiralty in St Petersburg and from 1805-25 spent much of his time in Russia (he married a Russian princess in 1812). Porter published various writings on Russia (illustrated by prints made from his own sketches), and after later serving as British Consul in Venezuela he died and was buried in St Petersburg.
For Porter's Russian sketches, see refs. 34447, 34448 etc; Ex: Collection of the Late Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd.
[Ref: 35464] £420.00