Platinotype portrait of "A cherub from old" (William Blake) by Frederick H. Evans. William Blake, Frederick H. Evans.
Platinotype portrait of "A cherub from old" (William Blake) by Frederick H. Evans

Platinotype portrait of "A cherub from old" (William Blake) by Frederick H. Evans

not stated: Frederick H. Evans circa 1900. First Edition. Grey paper mount 22.5 x 30.5 cm and stamped "FHE" in a monograph form. Tipped on platinotype photograph print is 15 x 19.5 cm. Evidence of glue ghosting where tipped on at two corners. Inscription on verso in hand of Frederick H. Evans reads "Platinotype enlargement of | Linnell's' miniature portrait | engraved by Jeens | of William Blake | by Frederick H. Evans | "A cherub from old"" Near Fine. Photograph. [28104]

Fredrick H. Evans was a British photographer, best known for his images of English and French cathedrals. Initially a bookseller, Evans became a full-time photographer in 1898 "when he adopted the platinotype technique for his photography". Evans retired from photography in 1915 as the costs of his preferred form went up and alternative forms didn't pique his interest. His cathedral photographs routinely sell in the thousands and are quite collected.

The engraving of William Blake enlarged here was taken from an 1863 lithograph by Charles Henry Jeens which in turn was created from a miniature ivory from life in 1827 by painter John Linnell (a friend of Blake). "William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced"" Blake is also highly collected today both privately and institutionally.

Likely a one-of image of Blake by Evans who would have known his work from his bookseller days and a natural subject as he learned the platinographic photography. Perfect for the Blake or Evans completist, this item connects two British greats in an unanticipated and attractive form.

(Historical summaries developed from wikipedia entries)


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