The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.
Lemuel Francis Abbott painted Nelson while he was recovering in Greenwich from the loss of his right arm. The original portrait was commissioned by William Locker, Lieutenant Governor of Greenwich Hospital and a friend of Nelson’s. A second version was painted for Lady Nelson and probably the third or fourth for Alexander Davison, Nelson’s agent. This print, one of many based on Abbott’s portraits, was made after Davison’s painting.
Engraver Richard Earlom was born and died in London. He studied under Italian artist Giovanni Battista Cipriani but later taught himself to engrave in mezzotint. In 1765 Earlom was employed by Boydell to make a series of drawings from paintings at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, which Earlom also engraved in mezzotint. His subjects include fruit and flower pieces after Dutch artists Van Os and Jan van Huysum, and historical and figure subjects, such as ‘Agrippina’ after Benjamin West and ‘Love in Bondage’ after Guido Reni. Earlom also engraved works after Johan Zoffany and Sir Joshua Reynolds. In addition, his series of 200 mezzotint facsimiles of the drawings and sketches of Claude Lorraine was published as ‘Liber veritatis’ between 1777 and 1819.
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