Economy of Time and Labor, exemplified in a Chinese Waterman
Engravingpublished 12 April 1796
- About the work
About the artist
Engraver and draughtsman Thomas Medland lived in Westminster. He is included in a drawing by A. E. Chalon titled ‘Students at the British Institution’ (1807), suggesting he studied there, although he may have been a teacher. He engraved illustrations for ‘Robinson Crusoe’, after drawings by Thomas Stothard and also became known for his topographical aquatints. Medland was also a watercolour painter and exhibited his watercolours at the Royal Academy. The original watercolour for the ‘West Front of the East India Company College’ was exhibited at the Academy in 1808. Medland died at his home near Haileybury College in Hertford at about the age of 68. Nothing is known of his wife, but his will divided his estate between three children.
William Alexander was born in Maidstone, Kent; the son of a coachbuilder. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1784 and may have trained under watercolourist Julius Caesar Ibbetson. He travelled to China as Junior Draughtsman in Lord Macartney's embassy of 1792 to 1794 and his drawings of the expedition were later engraved. In 1802 he became the first Master of Landscape Drawing at the Royal Military College in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire. He held an interest in medieval architecture and travelled throughout Britain, drawing churches and monuments. His drawings of Egyptian antiquities in the British Museum were engraved and published between 1805 and 1807. In 1808, he was appointed the Museum’s Assistant Keeper of Prints and Drawings.