A View of London from Wandsworth Hill in the County of Surrey
Coloured engravingpublished 22 May 1786
- About the work
About the artist
The printmaker, William Ellis, was the son of an engraver of writing, Joseph Ellis (died 1793). William was born in London and apprenticed to his father’s stationary company from about the age of 13. He later worked in the studio of the printmaker William Woollett (1735–1785). In 1785 he married Elizabeth Smith, also a printmaker, who may have been related to fellow pupil of Woollett, Samuel Smith (c.1809-1879). The couple frequently worked on projects together, including Aiken’s ‘Description of the Country… Round Manchester’. Elizabeth Ellis had already died when William passed away in 1810. An engraving ‘by the late Mr William Ellis’, showing a view of Exeter, was published to raise money for the couple’s five orphaned children.
William Tomkins first exhibited at the Free Society of Artists in 1761. He went on to exhibit at the Incorporated Society of Artists and the Royal Academy. He was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1771. Tomkins’ works are mostly representations of gentlemen’s seats in the North and West of England. His patrons included Edward Walter of Stalbridge in Dorset, the Parkers of Saltram in Devon and James Duff, Second Earl of Fife. Some of his works were engraved for ‘The Seats of the Nobility and Gentry in Great Britain and Wales’ (1787-c.1800) and ‘The Seats of the Nobility and Gentry, in a Collection of the Most Interesting and Picturesque Views’ (1779-86). He died at his home in Queen Anne Street, Marylebone, in London, aged about 60.