Pub.d as the Act Directs March 1st 1780 by W. Richardson No. 68 High Holborn
Mezzotint, good impression with very large margins; platemark 155 x 115mm (6 x 4½"). Uncut.
Mary Ann Wrighten (later Pownall) (1751-96), singer and actress. Born in Hoxton, London in 1751, she married the actor James Wrighten in 1769 and was enaged by David Garrick for his Drury Lane Theatre in 1770. She was a leading singer at the theatre for the next sixteen years, and was also a favourite performer at Vauxhall Gardens. Wrighten had six children with only brief respites from the stage in between, and was seriously ill in both 1784 and 1786. In December 1786 her marriage broke down and she left her husband and children and abandoned the theatre, and went to live in Southwark with Hugh Pownall, a manufacturer of sulphuric acid. As a result her father cut her out of his will. The couple moved to America where they married, and the now Mrs Pownall sang to much acclaim in Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Charleston (some considered her the best vocalist heard in America up to that point). James Wrighten having died in the meantime, her daughters joined her in America where they performed alongisde her. Mary Ann died in Charleston. From a set of small mezzotint portraits of actresses and singers, published by the printseller William Richardson in 1780, apparently to follow up a similar set of actor portraits published the previous year. Engraved after a painting by draughtsman and singer Robert Dighton (1751-1814) by the mezzotint engraver and printseller Robert Laurie (1755?-1836). Music, instruments and mask (representing theatre) in title area; sitter holding manuscript.
Ex: Oettingen-Wallenstein collection, and collection of the late Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd; CS 1 iii/iii.
[Ref: 36684] £260.00