St. Augustine’s Gate, Canterbury
Coloured aquatintpublished 16 October 1779
- About the work
About the artist
Aquatint engraver Francis Jukes was born in Martley, Worcestershire. Nothing is known of his parents. He initially worked as a topographical painter, before becoming one of the first British aquatint engravers. He is thought to have learnt the method from Paul Sandby and some of his first aquatints are after Sandby’s designs. Dukes mainly produced prints of landscape or seascape subjects. He illustrated the Rev. William Gilpin’s ‘Observations on the River Wye’ (published 1782). His early prints were published in collaboration with Valentine Green and he later collaborated with Robert Pollard. Illness towards the end of his life may have been caused by fumes from the acid he used in the aquatinting process. He died in 1812, aged about 67.
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.
Valentine Green, engraver of portraits and historical subjects after works by his contemporaries, was born at Salford, Worcestershire. He was intended for a career at the Bar, but without his father’s consent, became apprenticed to an obscure line engraver in Worcester. When he came to London in 1765 he began working in mezzotint and engraved nearly 400 plates over the next 40 years. In 1775 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and was appointed Mezzotint Engraver to George III. In 1789 he obtained the exclusive privilege of engraving the pictures of the Dusseldorf, but was ruined when the city was besieged in 1798. In 1805 he was made Keeper of the newly founded British Institution, a post he retained until his death.