GRAY, THOMAS (1716-1771, poet) PORTRAIT BY JOHANN SEBASTIAN MULLER/JOHN MILLER (1715-1785) AFTER JOH
Lot 59
GRAY, THOMAS (1716-1771, poet) PORTRAIT BY JOHANN SEBASTIAN MULLER/JOHN MILLER (1715-1785) AFTER JOHN GILES ECKHARDT (d. 1799),
Sold for £336 (US$ 542) inc. premium

Lot Details
GRAY, THOMAS (1716-1771, poet)
PORTRAIT BY JOHANN SEBASTIAN MULLER/JOHN MILLER (1715-1785) AFTER JOHN GILES ECKHARDT (d. 1799),
line engraving, three-quarter length, holding a paper in his right hand, 'J.S. Muller Sculpt' written lower right in a neat hand, trimmed to the plate line, very fine impression, size of image and surround c. 12 x 9¼ in (30.5 x 23.5 cm).

Footnotes

  • REFERENCES: Correspondence of Thomas Gray, edited by Paget Toynbee and Leonard Whibley, 3 volumes, 1971; R.W. Ketton-Cremer, Thomas Gray, 1955.

    Gray to Horace Walpole 13 February 1753: 'Sure you are not out of your Wits! this I know, if you suffer my Head to be printed, you infallibly will put me out of mine. I conjure you immediately to put a stop to any such design...the thing, as it was, I know will make me ridiculous enough; but to appear in proper Person at the head of my works, consisting of half a dozen Ballads in 30 Pages, would be worse than the Pillory. I do assure you, if I had received such a book with such a frontispiece without any warning, I believe, it would have given me a Palsy...'

    Walpole immediately suppressed the half finished plate of Grey's portrait, engraved from the painting by Eckhardt in Walpole's possession, and Dodsley's edition of Gray's poems obliquely entitled Designs by Mr. R. Bentley for Six Poems by Mr. T. Gray appeared with Muller's engravings of Bentley's plates, but without the offending portrait. At some point Muller/Miller evidently finished the plate, and while copies were once not uncommon, they are now found much less frequently. Muller/Miller, who was also a botanist, is best known for his illustration of Linnaeus's The Sexual System. An example of this engraving is in the National Portrait Gallery.
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