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“He First Brought it to Perfection”: John Smith and the Mezzotint in Early Modern England
6 January–8 April 2018
Frances K. Smith Gallery

Season Launch: 18 January 2018
Members’ Preview: 5–6 pm
Public Reception: 6–7:30 pm

Curated by Andrea Morgan under the supervision of Dr Jacquelyn N. Coutré as part of the practicum course in the graduate program of the Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University.

The new printmaking technique of mezzotint found a modest audience in continental Europe, but, around 1700, it achieved incredible popularity in England. This exhibition focuses on the printmaker-publisher John Smith (1652–1743), who captured the market with his sophisticated mezzotint prints after Renaissance and contemporary masters. It frames his achievements within the context of the printmaking tradition in England and evinces his savviness on the art market.

Artists represented in this show include Isaac Beckette, Anthony van Dyck, John Faber, Jr., John Smith, Wallerant Vaillant and William Vincent.

John Smith (after Godfrey Kneller), Portrait of John Smith, 1716, mezzotint on paper. Gift of Mary C. Stewart in memory of J. Douglas Stewart, 2013 (56.014.04).

Installation view of “He First Brought it to Perfection”: John Smith and the Mezzotint in Early Modern England.

Image Credits

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