The Right Honorable Philip, Lord Hardwicke



The Right Honorable Philip, Lord Hardwicke


James McArdell
British, c. 1729–1765
After James Wills
British, fl. 1744–1777


c. 1754–56




image: 12-1/4 x 9-13/16 in. (30.8 x 25 cm), plate: 13-13/16 x 9-13/16 in. (34.9 x 25 cm), sheet: 14-7/8 x 10-13/16 in. (37.7 x 27.3 cm)


The eighteenth century, particularly from about 1740 on, marked the golden age of mezzotint production in England, and Dublin-born James McArdell was one of its stars. McArdell came to London in 1746 with his teacher, the Irish printmaker John Brooks, and within four years—at the age of 21—he set up shop on his own, in Covent Garden. Over the next fifteen years, until his untimely death in 1765 at the age of 37, he was recognized as the finest reproductive engraver in England, making mezzotints after the leading portrait painters in the country, including Joshua Reynolds, Anthony van Dyck, and Allan Ramsay.

McArdell’s subject here is Philip Yorke (1690–1764), a lawyer and skilled politician whose keen machinations won him the appointment in 1737 as lord chancellor, a post he held, under three prime ministers, for twenty years. His portrait by James Wills dates from 1744; however, McArdell’s reproduction was made at least a decade later. Yorke was made Earl of Hardwicke only in 1754, and two years later he retired from his position as lord chancellor.


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Transfer from The Pennsylvania State University Libraries Print Collection




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