Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Northcote: Leopards

Samuel William REYNOLDS after James Northcote


A striking mezzotint engraving of two Leopards at play, engraved on copper by Samuel Reynolds after the painting by James Northcote and published in London in 1798.

Samuel William Reynolds (1773 – 1835) was a well-known artist, etcher and mezzotint engraver of portraits, animals and sporting subjects after both his contemporaries and the Old Masters.  He excelled at the realistic portrayal of animals and these leopards are superb examples of his work. He lived and worked in London and studied at the Royal Academy schools.  Although not related to Sir Joshua Reynolds he did actually engrave after his namesake. James Northcoe, the artist, was a pupil of Joshua Reynolds so it is likely that this is how the connection was made.

It is hard to imagine the impact that images like this would have had on contemporary Georgian society.  Leopards were relatively unknown outside their natural environment and extremely rare in captivity although it is said that three leopards roamed the grounds of The Tower of London in the thirteenth century, a gift from The Holy Roman Emperor to Henry III.

23½ x 18½"

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