The Playwright “Ben Jonson” [here Ben Johnson] (1572-1637)
Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780)
after Isaac Oliver c.1556-1617
Line engraving, published by John & Paul Knapton, 1738
On paper, framed and glazed
38.7 cm x 24.4 cm
Sitter profile to left but looking at the viewer, wearing a draped coat within a feigned architectural oval with roses and laurel his name "Ben Johnson" [sic] above. Below a young satyr, holding a sceptre with a fool's head, is pointing at the sitter. Also a lyre; books; a quiver of arrows and a bow; a theatrical mask and a fox appearing to the right (a reference to Jonson's famous play "Volpone, or the Fox". Publication line in the lower margin "In the possession of Dr. Mead", "J. Houbraken sculps.", "Impensis I.&P. Knapton Londini. 1738." "I.Oliver pinx."
Presented framed and glazed in an attractively distressed antique Hogarth style frame.
Ben Jonson was a giant of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre. After William Shakespeare, he is often regarded as the second most important English playwright.
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