View near Lancaster Sands
Coloured engravingpublished 2 July 1787
- About the work
About the artist
The printmaker, William Ellis, was the son of an engraver of writing, Joseph Ellis (died 1793). William was born in London and apprenticed to his father’s stationary company from about the age of 13. He later worked in the studio of the printmaker William Woollett (1735–1785). In 1785 he married Elizabeth Smith, also a printmaker, who may have been related to fellow pupil of Woollett, Samuel Smith (c.1809-1879). The couple frequently worked on projects together, including Aiken’s ‘Description of the Country… Round Manchester’. Elizabeth Ellis had already died when William passed away in 1810. An engraving ‘by the late Mr William Ellis’, showing a view of Exeter, was published to raise money for the couple’s five orphaned children.
Francis Wheatley was born in London. He studied at Shipley’s Academy before enrolling at the Royal Academy Schools in 1769. He made a number of trips aboard during the 1760s and became influenced by contemporary French painting, particularly the work of Jean-Baptiste Greuze and François Boucher. Wheatley was elected a Fellow of the Society of Artists in 1770 and became a director in 1774. In 1779, he fled to Dublin with the wife of another artist to escape creditors. Having established himself in Ireland, he returned to London in 1783 and produced work for the print publisher John Boydell. His images of itinerant merchants of the early 1790s were published for English and French markets. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1791.