Henry Meyer after Henry Edridge.
Alexander Adair Esq.
15 x 21 inches
A stipple plate engraving with colour printing, engraved by Henry Meyer after Henry Edridge; published in London circa 1810.
A full-length portrait of Alexander Adair (1743-1834), a Captain in the Suffolk Yeomanry. Little is known about his life but there is a memorial to him in St. James's Church in Piccadilly. This full-length portrait is very typical of Edridge's style and a tremendous example of the artistic subtleties that can be achieved with stipple plate engraving.
Henry Edridge (1768-1821) was born and worked in London. At the age of 15 he was fortunate to become apprenticed to the famous mezzotint engraver and portrait painter, William Pether. Under Pether's guidance Edridge learnt the skills required to perform portraiture in miniature. So adept did he become that none other than the infamous Sir Joshua Reynolds hounded him to purchase one of his miniatures. In 1784 Edridge enrolled at the Royal Academy school and further developed his art. In 1801, he moved from Margaret Street to Cavendish Square where he would work until his death in 1821. As well as portraiture, he had an equal passion for landscape and his studies are nearly always set against the most enchanting rural backdrops.
Henry Meyer (1782-1847) was a talented painter, mezzotint and stipple engraver who accomplished many engravings after the work of his contemporaries. In this particular print, it is fascinating to see how, to great effect, he has only applied colour to the face of his subject thereby rendering a most attractive composition.