John Smith after Anthony van Dyke
Jacobus I D. G. Mag. Brit. Fra. Et Hib. Rex
9.5 x 14 inches
A half-length mezzotint portrait of King James I set within an oval frame; engraved by John Smith after the painting by van Dyke and published in London in 1721.
Until the advent of mezzotint engraving in England and the technological advances made in printing from the late C17th onwards very few people had any visual reference to the monarchy unless they were fortunate enough to see the portraits of great artists like Holbein, Kneller and van Dyke. Once people like John Smith mastered the art of engraving in mezzotint images could be disseminated on a much wider scale. Here we see his print of James I, the first of the Jacobean kings, with characteristic beard, ruff and doublet.