Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745) Prime Minister
- About the work
About the artist
Jean Baptiste van Loo was born in Aix-en-Provence to a family of Flemish painters. He worked in the south of France until 1714, when he travelled to northern Italy and Rome, and settled in Paris in 1720. While in Paris, he established himself as a portrait painter in the circle of the Regent, Philippe d'Orléans, and also painted a portrait of Louis XV. In 1731, he became a member of the Académie Royale. In 1737, van Loo moved to England, where he was patronised by Prime Minister Robert Walpole. In 1742, after a year’s ill-health, van Loo returned to Aix and his later life was divided between Paris and Aix. Today, his works are in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Louvre, Paris; and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
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.