Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Dixon Reynolds Blake

John Dixon after Sir Joshua Reynolds

Mrs Blake as Juno

15¾ x 24 inches

In this fabulous image, Annabella Blake is pictured standing upon a bed of clouds, attired as Juno with her right arm outstretched to take a cestus (the girdle of Venus that bestowed beauty and grace on the wearer) from Venus herself, reaching out from the clouds and pictured with the doves of peace . As Juno, Mrs Blake is accompanied by a magnificent peacock and her hair is elaborately trussed with interwoven pearls. The portrait was done in 1771 when Annabella was still married to Patrick Blake (who became a baronet a year later in 1772) but soon after this the marriage was dissolved and she went on to marry George Boscawen. When Horace Walpole saw the original painting at the Royal Academy, he was far from impressed and wrote "very bad" in his copy of the exhibition catalogue. He thought Reynolds' painting to be pretentious and Mrs Blake unworthy to take on the mantle of Juno.

John Dixon was one of the many Irish School engravers who came to work in London in the latter half of the C18th and was greatly favoured by Sir Joshua Reynolds. After a very promising start to his career in London he is said to have married a lady of fortune and thereafter lived a life of indulgence in Kensington only turning to engraving out of amusement. His mezzotints remain, however, some of the finest from the period.


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