John Philpot Curran (1750-1817) lawyer, judge and politician
Mezzotintpublished 27 July 1801
About the work
This mezzotint print was engraved by John Raphael Smith after an original work by Sir Thomas Lawrence. An oil portrait of Curran by Lawrence is in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. However, although similar to this work, it does not appear to be the portrait Smith’s mezzotint is based on, as it shows the sitter in a slightly different pose and looking directly at the viewer.
About the artist
Printmaker and publisher John Raphael Smith is best known for his mezzotints. He was born in Derby and apprenticed to a linen draper. He began his artistic career painting miniatures and engraved his first mezzotint in 1769. In 1784 he became Mezzotint Engraver to the Prince of Wales. Smith produced thousands of prints during his career, which he distributed throughout the UK and to St Petersburg, Milan and Paris. However, after the French Revolution caused a decline in exports, he opened the Morland Gallery in King Street, Covent Garden, initially producing 36 prints after works by George Morland. Smith spent his final years travelling throughout Yorkshire, in response to commissions for pastel portraits. He died in Doncaster, aged c.61.