Coloured engraving1 January 1777
- About the work
About the artist
Michael [Angelo] Rooker, watercolourist and scene designer, was born in Bloomsbury, the son of Edward Rooker. In the 1760s, he collaborated with his father. He also studied under Paul Sandby and adopted the name ‘Angelo’, given in jest by Sandby. In 1769, he entered the Royal Academy Schools and later became an associate. He designed frontispieces for George Coleman’s edition of ‘The Dramatic Works of Beaumont and Fletcher’ (1778) and Thomas Cadell’s edition of Fielding’s ‘Works’ (1783). For 20 years he produced the frontispiece for the ‘Oxford Almanack’. In 1779, he was made Scene Painter at the Haymarket Theatre and also painted scenes for the Duke of Marlborough’s theatre at Blenheim. He died in Soho, just before his 55th birthday.
Little is known of the early life of Edward Rooker. He was a pupil of engraver Henry Roberts, in High Holborn, while simultaneously pursuing a career in acting. Between 1748 and 1749, he engraved drawings after designs by Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. He appeared on stage at the New Wells Theatre in 1749 and, by 1752, had joined the company at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. His career as an engraver continued with plates for William Chambers’ ‘Designs of Chinese Buildings’ (1757) and James Stuart’s ‘Antiquities of Athens’ (1762). He collaborated with Paul and Thomas Sandby on ‘Six London Views’, and again with Thomas for illustrations to Tasso’s ‘Jerusalem Delivered’. He died unexpectedly, at around the time of 50th birthday.