The Grand Canal, Venice
Coloured etchingrepublished 15 February 1853
About the work
Place: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Whitehall
About the artist
David Lucas was born in Northamptonshire; the son of a farmer. In 1820 he began an engraving apprenticeship with S. W. Reynolds, moving into Reynolds’ home in Bayswater. By 1829 he was working with John Constable on a series of 22 plates, known as ‘English Landscape’ (published 1830-32), which was produced under Constable’s intense scrutiny. A further six plates were published by F. G. Moon in 1838, after the artist’s death. Lucas also engraved six larger prints after Constable and several prints after works by other artists, including R. Smirke, D. Roberts and T. Girtin. His last project was to rework ‘English Landscape’ for its republication in 1855. Alcoholism plagued his last decades and he died in the Fulham union workhouse, aged 79.
James Duffield Harding was born in Deptford, Kent; the son of an engraver and drawing-master. He was taught by his father, before studying under S. Prout and C. Pye. In 1818 he began exhibiting at the Society of Painters in Water Colours and he later became a member. He was one of the first to practice lithography. Harding travelled to Italy in 1824 and also toured France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He was a passionate drawing-master and wrote instructional books. His Italian views on different papers (exhibited 1830) led to the range of ‘Harding papers’, manufactured by Whatman. In 1841 he published ‘The Park and the Forest’, a series of lithotints. He lived in St John’s Wood (1848-60), before moving to Barnes, where he died aged 66.