S W Prospect of Duke of Marlborough’s House
- About the work
About the artist
John Harris I, engraver and draughtsman, was probably born in Northamptonshire. Early in his career he produced mainly maps and plans. One of his earliest engravings is a ‘Survey of the Parish of Stepney and Stebunheath’, Middlesex, made up of ten sheets. He engraved similar multi-sheet maps of areas in Ireland, Scotland and Cambridgeshire. From 1711, he made architectural and bird’s-eye views. It seems he was also employed as a surveyor, drawing properties to order. Harris’s best known works were for ‘The History of St Paul’s Cathedral in London’ (1716). Although he produced views of American prospects for publisher William Burgis, there is no evidence that he visited the US. Later in his career he illustrated antiquarian county histories.
Little is known of the printmaker James Lightbody. Examples of his work were included in ‘Receuil de Marines et de Vaisseaux’, a collection of maritime prints, formed by the brothers Chéreau (one of the most prolific French print publishers) in 1754 in Paris for the Parisian connoisseur market and presented in a grand binding, created by the French bookbinder Antoine Michel Padeloup. Lightbody’s views of Portsmouth, Plymouth and Harwich were included. These prints had first been published in London in about 1710 by Thomas Taylor and engraved by H. Hulsbergh. The British Museum has a print of an elderly man walking with a crutch and stick, holding a begging bowl, which was etched by Lightbody.