"The Adoration of the Shepherds"
Mezzotint by Valentine Green (1739-1813) after Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)
Published, 1775 by John Boydell (1719-1804)
Dimensions: 66.9 cm x 51.5 cm (sheet)
50.3 cm x 35.3 cm (plate)
Lettered with title "The Adoration of the Shepherds" either side of the coat of arms of Walpole, with the motto "Fari Quae Sentiat", "size of the picture F 4 "I 9 ½ by F 6 "I 4 ¾ in height", "In the Salon at Houghton" and "Published Novr. 1st. 1775 by / John Boydell Engraver in Cheapside London." Beneath the image "Murillo pinxit. / G. Farington delint.", "John Boydell excudit 1775." and "Val: Green Engraver / to his Majesty fecit."
Very fine impression of the second state of this print, with coat of arms and full engraved inscription beneath. Very broad margins. The plates of images of works from The Houghton Gallery were executed by Boydell spurred on by the increasing likelihood that the Walpole family would have to sell the pictures from their extraordinary collection to pay off large debts. Whitman records that the original cost of this print when retailed was 10s. 6d.
The original painting is now in the Hermitage, St Petersburg having been acquired by Catherine the Great in 1779 as part of her acquisition of the collection of Sir Robert Walpole and the Earls of Orford from Houghton Hall in Norfolk. (See Hermitage Inventory Number: ГЭ-316).
Cat. 191 on P.137, Alfred Whitman, "Valentine Green", London, A.H. Bullen, 1902
John Boydell, "The Houghton Gallery", Vol.1, Plate.24
See BM 1917,1208.2451 & Kk,4.26 (1982,U.2067) for similar impressions (though with smaller margins).
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