James Basire I was the son of Isaac Basire, a map maker. He became a pupil of the engraver Richard Dalton (1720-1791) and established himself as an engraver of portraits, topographical views, historical and antiquarian subjects after works by contemporary artists. For a time he was engraver to the Society of Antiquities. His most famous pupil, whose work he influenced, was William Blake (1757-1827). Basire was living in Great Queen Street, near Lincoln Inn Fields, when he died, in September 1802. His son, James Basire II, was also a line engraver and followed in his father’s footsteps as engraver to the Society of Antiquities.
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