John Dunning, 1st Baron Ashburton (1731-1783) Solicitor General
- About the work
About the artist
Francesco Bartolozzi was born in Italy. He became a pupil of the German painter and printmaker Joseph Wagner, then based in Venice. In 1764, he was invited to England by Frederick Augusta Barnard, King George III's Librarian. Although best known for copying Old Master drawings in the stipple technique (such as his reproductions of Guercino’s drawings in the Royal Collection), Bartolozzi also engraved plates after contemporary artists (notably Giovanni Battista Cipriani and Angelica Kauffmann). He set up a studio in London, which produced large numbers of ‘furniture prints’ (generally set within a roundel or oval and intended for framing). In 1802 he left England to become Director of the Lisbon Academy in Portugal.
Joshua Reynolds was the dominant artistic personality during the age of George III. He was born in Plympton, Devon. From 1750 to 1752 he studied the work of the Old Masters in Rome. Reynolds returned via Florence and Paris, and settled in London in 1753. In 1759 he painted a portrait of the future king, George, Prince of Wales (Royal Collection). After George’s accession the following year, Reynolds was dismayed to learn that Allan Ramsay had been made Principal Painter to the King. This marked the beginning of increasing hostility between Reynolds and the King. Nonetheless, by 1760 Reynolds had established himself as the leading portraitist. He became President of the Royal Academy in 1768 and was knighted the following year.