Robert Fielding

Engraver Isaac Beckett British
After Sir Godfrey Kneller German
Sitter Robert Fielding British

Not on view

Mezzotint, a tonal method of printmaking, was invented in Germany in 1642 and introduced to Britain by Dutch engravers. Beckett was first great native-born Englishman to practice the technique, producing just over than a hundred prints between 1681 and his early death in 1688. Most of these are portraits, many after leading painters. This example after Sir Godfrey Kneller represents Robert "Beau" Fielding wearing armor. He gained his nickname by spending huge amounts on his wardrobe, and gained a reputation as a gambler, bully and n'er-do-well. In 1705, after marrying two women in the same month, Fielding only escaped prison through a royal pardon.

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