Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Smith Wortley Montagu

J. R. Smith after The Rev. Peters

Edm.d Wortley Montagu Esq.

16.5 x 22.5 inches

A three-quarter length mezzotint portrait engraved by John Raphael Smith after the painting by the Reverend Matthew William Peters; published in London in 1776.

Edmund Wortley Montagu (1713-1776) was a traveller, linguist and eccentric of C18th England. He was the eldest son of Sir Edward and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and it was during a childhood trip to Constantinople between 1716 and 1718 that he acquired his love of exploration and travel. Using his inheritance as a security against his creditors he left England in 1762 and travelled to the Middle East as an archaeologist. He spent nearly a decade travelling around the region until, in 1773, he settled in Venice as a flamboyant and eccentric ex-pat. One of his contemporaries was fascinated by his lifestyle and described him as living "with the manners, habit and magnificence of a Turk". In this wonderful and evocative mezzotint, he is depicted in full Turkish attire with his hand resting upon a beautiful carpet.

John Raphael Smith (1752-1812) was one of the most accomplished mezzotint engravers of his generation and as such his talents were much in demand. This is a very fine example of his work. The Rev. Matthew William Peters (1742-1814) began his life as a painter, inspired by the work of Benjamin West. Later he entered the church, becoming chaplain to the Prince Regent (not an easy task!) and eventually gave up art altogether, regreting his earlier provocative paintings of women.


Back to Catalogue