William Ward after Francis Wheatley
16 x 21.5 inches
A mint condition mezzotint by William Ward after Francis Wheatley; published in London by J. R. Smith in 1789.
This emotional domestic Georgian scene depicts the calamitous moment when a naughty cat tips over a bird cage and grasps the unfortunate inhabitant in its teeth prior to scampering off and eating it. The mistress of the house and her daughter look on aghast unable to stop the carnage.
William Ward was born in London in 1766. He was the brother of James Ward and married the sister of the famous English landscape painter, George Morland. As such he spent most of his life surrounded by artists and engravers. He was apprenticed to John Raphael Smith and on completion of his time became the latter's assistant. He engraved portraits, genre, decorative and sporting subjects after both his contemporaries and his own designs. He was appointed mezzotint engraver to the Duke of York in 1803 and later to the Prince of Wales. In 1814 he was elected Associate of the Royal Academy. Ward died suddenly in December 1826.