From a painting by John Townsend and printed by ‘Robert Stewart, Engraver & Modeller of portraits in Wax, No 15 Millman Streets, Bedford Row, Holborn. December ye 27th, 1776.’ A rare state in which the title space is scratch lettered for the engraver, but not yet cut. Interestingly, the lettering states that Ferguson was aged 66 at the time he was painted, a fact that did not make it to the final title. From the Charles Allix collection. Overall framed size 43 x 33 cm.
James Ferguson FRS (1710-1776), painter, astronomer, instrument and clock maker and, not least, author, illustrator and teacher of natural philosophy. His work inspired two of the greatest paintings of the 18th century, by Joseph Wright of Derby, and his books are as good and easy to understand as they were over two hundred years ago. He rates, along with John Harrison and others, as one of the most remarkable men of the enlightenment.
Trimmed close to the plate mark and laid down on old paper, and placed on top of more recent darker paper, in old ebonised frame. Clean and ready to hang.