Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Smith Highmore Cumberland

John Smith after Joseph Highmore

His Royal Highness William Augustus Duke of Cumberland, Knight of the most Hon.ble order of the Bath &c

10 x 13.5 inches

A half-length mezzotint portrait, engraved by John Smith after Joseph Highmore and published in London in 1729.

John Smith dominated the market in mezzotint portraiture in the early C18th before a plethora of other artists appeared from the 1750s onwards. He was highly accomplished at what he did and here, in this exquisite portrait of the youthful Duke of Cumberland, we see why. He is astonishingly adept at recreating the tonal accomplishments of oil in print and in this instance, he has portrayed hair, silk, brocade and skin tone all with equal ingenuity. The Duke of Cumberland (1721-65) was the third and youngest son of George II. We see him here aged 8, three years after he has been given the dukedom, with little indication of where his destiny lay. There is a fragility to this pose, almost effeminate in appearance, yet he would grow up to be a distinguished soldier fighting for the crown. He is best remembered for putting down the Jacobite Rebellion at the Battle of Culloden in 1746; after which he was immensely popular with the populace at large.


Back to Catalogue