Joseph Marchi after Sir Joshua Reynolds
Mrs. Crewe and Mrs. Bouverie
20.5 x 18 inches
A mezzotint portrait of the two ladies engraved by Joseph Marchi after Reynolds; published in London in 1770.
A three-quarter length portrait of the society beauties, Mrs. Crewe and Mrs. Bouverie set against a rural landscape. The ladies contemplate a nearby sarcophagus upon which are etched the immortal words Et in Arcadia Ego, a Latin inscription that refers to the purity of agrarian living.
Joseph Philip Liberati Marchi was born in Rome in the early Eighteenth Century but attracted the attention of Joshua Reynolds who brought him to London in 1752 and appointed him as his assistant. In the 1770s, he attempted to establish himself as a portrait painter in his own right but, despite prodigious artistic talent, did not succeed and returned to being the studio assistant and mezzotint engraver to Sir Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds supervised his work carefully and took a keen interest in his finished plates.