James McArdell after van Dyck
George Duke of Buckingham with his Brother Francis. [&] Lord John and Lord Bernard Stuart, Sons of Esme, Duke of Lenox.
Each 13¾ x 19¾ inches
A pair of magnificent full-length black and white mezzotint portraits, published in London in 1752.
The Duke of Buckingham is pictured on the left with his brother, Lord Francis, on the right. A curtain hangs to the left in the background and a landscape can be seen in the distance through the window on the right. George and Francis were the sons of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who was assassinated by Felton in 1628. Lord Francis was born after his father's murder and was eventually killed during a skirmish with the Parliamentary forces in 1648.
John and Bernard, the sons of the Duke of Lenox, are portrayed full length with long hair and cloaks. Lord John stands on the left with his brother Bernard on the right. Both boys displayed great promise in their youth but both sadly died on the battlefield in 1644 and 1645 respectively; fighting for King Charles I and the Royalist cause.
James McArdell was born in Dublin around the year 1729 and started work as a pupil of John Brooks with whom he came to London at the end of the 1740's. Soon after this he started to work on his own and set himself up as an engraver at the sign of the Golden Head in Covent Garden. It was from this address that he produced most of his work and published the majority of his prints. He specialised in mezzotint engravings after his contemporaries and the old master painters. He died, a relatively young man, in 1765 and was interred at Hampstead churchyard.