"Children At Play" ("The Oddie Children")
Sir William Beechey, R.A. (1753-1839) (after)
engraved & published by Thomas Park (1760-1835)
Mezzotint, III State
Framed and glazed
50.5 cm high x 48.3 cm wide (plate)
65 cm high x 60 cm wide (framed)
A scene of four children at play in a landscape, the eldest boy with a bow and arrows. Lettered beneath the image with the title "CHILDREN AT PLAY" with the artists' details "Painted by W Beechey" (l.l.); "Engraved by T. Park" (l.r.) and with the publication line "Published by T. Park, Down Street, Piccadilly, March 1, 1791 ~".
A very charming and exceptionally rare 18th Century mezzotint after the 1789 group portrait painting by Beechey, now in The North Carolina Museum of Art. The children depicted are those Henry Hoyle Oddie, a lawyer from Carey Street, London who may have known Beechey through the legal profession. The children are respectively (from left to right) Jane, Henry, Sara, and Catherine. Their father commissioned the portrait in 1789. The painting was engraved by the accomplished printmaker Thomas Park, who began his career as a mezzotint engraver before turning towards writing. He assisted with the publication of various volumes by the ploughboy poet, Robert Bloomfield and wrote and published several poems and sonnets himself. He became a distinguished antiquarian.
Presented in a very attractive antique black lacquer frame with parcel gilt cornicing and applied gilt-metal corners.
See British Museum [1902,1011.3570]
Chaloner Smith calls the print, "The Oddie Children" (Vol. III, p. 959).
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