Sir Thomas Burnet (1694-1753) judge
- About the work
About the artist
Allan Ramsay was born in Edinburgh. After two years of study in Italy, he settled in London in 1738. From the 1740s until the emergence of Reynolds as a rival in the mid-1750s, he maintained a reputation as Britain’s leading portraitist. He was also one of the wealthiest painters, amassing a fortune of about £40,000. In May 1757, a few months after his return to England from a three-year stay in Italy, Ramsay received a commission from John, Third Earl of Bute, to paint the young Prince of Wales (the future George III). It was the success of this portrait which led George III to appoint Ramsay as his Principal Painter. Ramsay’s love of Italy did not diminish with age. He died at Dover in August 1784, returning from his last Italian journey.
John Faber II was born in Amsterdam, the son of engraver John Faber (c.1660-1721). The family settled in England by 1698. He was a pupil of his father, studied at the St Martin’s Lane Academy and also joined the Rose and Crown Club of artists, which met at a Covent Garden tavern. He produced mezzotints under the name John Faber Junior, until his father’s death in 1721. In 1737 publisher George Virtue recorded an attack on him by a street robber, during which he was shot in the breast, however he later recovered. In total, he made over 500 mezzotint prints, mainly after 17th-century or contemporary artists, becoming the leading mezzotint engraver of his day. His apprentices included Andrew Miller (died 1763). He died of gout, aged about 61.