William Wyndham Grenville, Baron Grenville (1759-1834)
- About the work
About the artist
London-born engraver James Fittler exhibited two sketches at the Free Society of Artists, aged 17. He studied engraving at the Royal Academy Schools from 21 and exhibited there between 1788 and 1824, becoming an associate in 1800. He was later appointed marine engraver to George III. He contributed to Boydell’s ‘Shakespeare Gallery’ and co-published ‘Views of Weymouth’ (1790-91) and (with Robert Bowyer) an illustrated bible (1795), losing some £1500 in the later venture. He published engravings for John Claude Nattes's ‘Scotia Depicta’ (1804) and made reproductions of Raphael's ‘Cartoons’ (1810). His last published works illustrated Thomas Frognall Dibdin's ‘Account of the Mansion, Books, and Pictures, at Althorp’ (1822). He died aged 77.
Thomas Phillips was born in Dudley, Warwickshire, of modest means. He took up an apprenticeship with a stained glass painter, before moving to London in 1790 to study at the Royal Academy and work in the studio of Sir Benjamin West. Phillips exhibited work at the Academy between 1794 and 1844. In 1808, he was elected a Royal Academician and, in 1825, succeeded Henry Fuseli as Professor of Painting at the Academy. Phillips was a prolific artist, as demonstrated by the 859 portraits listed in his sitters’ notebook. However, today only about 300 portraits by the artist are known to survive.