Line and mezzotint engraver Thomas Abiel Prior was born in London. He engraved landscapes after contemporary artists for publishers Henry Fisher and George Virtue. In 1837 he married Emma Sharrow and their son, Thomas William, was born the following year. Prior engraved J. M. W. Turner’s drawing ‘Heidelberg Castle and Town’ under the artist’s supervision (published 1844) and later made further engravings after Turner’s work. He produced 14 plates on steel for the ‘Art Journal’ (1850–71), including plates after works in the Royal Collection. His wife may have died in 1860, when he moved to Calais to be close to their son. Here he taught drawing at local schools, returning annually to assess proofs of his plates. He died in Calais aged 77.
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