London: William Palmer, 14 Feby. 1788. Large sepia stipple engraving depicting an important event in the Hundred Years War between England and France. King John of France, captured during the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 and held for an enormous ransom, is presented with his son to the English King.
Engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815) an Italian engraver who perfected a technique of stipple engraving "in the crayon manner" which enabled him to interpret the chalk drawings of Renaissance and Baroque masters as engravings. Bartolozzi's engravings of Guercino drawings which he made in Venice convinced Richard Dalton, the librarian to George III, to invite him to come to Britain as engraver to the King.
Bartolozzi remained in England for decades, becoming a founding members of the Royal Academy. He made engravings after the masters, as well as contemporary artists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough and Copley; he also made engravings after paintings for Boydell's 'Shakespeare Gallery'.
The engraving after a painting by John Francis Rigaud (1742 - 1810), an Italian born painter of historical and decorative works as well as portraits, who moved to London in 1772, becoming a member of the Royal Academy in 1784.
15 1/2 x 13", on paper 21 x 16". Damp marks in margin on left, lower edge just into impression mark, overall light general toning. At the lower right, in period ink, "1496"; perhaps an early collector's acquisition number?
A scarce print, at Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, Accession No. B1977.14.19784. Good + overall. Item #24009