Joseph Banks Esq.

London: W. Dickinson, 30 January 1774.

Mezzotint portrait, 510 x 370 mm.; a very good impression, mounted and framed.

The classic portrait of Banks as a young man

In this fine mezzotint Joseph Banks " the father of Australia" is shown sitting confidently at his desk, surrounded by the accoutrements of his science: books, papers, and a prominently placed world globe. The image is based on the portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1772-3, when Banks was at the height of his fame after returning triumphant from Cook's first voyage and the discovery of the east coast of Australia. His ambitions and achievements are neatly captured in the prominently placed Latin tag, "cras ingens iterabimus æquor" (Horace: "tomorrow we will be back on the vast ocean", and an intriguing choice as the engraving was published at much the same time as Banks withdrew from Cook's second voyage).

In this fine mezzotint Joseph Banks " the father of Australia" is shown sitting confidently at his desk, surrounded by the accoutrements of his science: books, papers, and a prominently placed world globe. The image is based on the portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1772-3, when Banks was at the height of his fame after returning triumphant from Cook's first voyage and the discovery of the east coast of Australia. His ambitions and achievements are neatly captured in the prominently placed Latin tag, "cras ingens iterabimus æquor" (Horace: "tomorrow we will be back on the vast ocean", and an intriguing choice as the engraving was published at much the same time as Banks withdrew from Cook's second voyage).

Joseph Banks was only twenty-eight or twenty-nine when this engraving was made by William Dickinson in the latter half of 1773. It was the same year that Dickinson first began to publish his own prints, after a lengthy apprenticeship and association with the painter Robert Edge Pine, at whose house in St Martin's Lane he lodged between 1768 and 1771. His relationship with Reynolds was evidently good: this was the first of no less than twenty-two mezzotints after Reynolds that he completed and this very rare and fine image of Banks is one of the most celebrated.

Beddie, 4203; Carter, Sir Joseph Banks 1743-1820, Paintings - engraved, no. 3; Nan Kivell & Spence, p. 16.

Price (AUD): $14,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504653

Condition Report