William Woollett 1735-1785. British School 18th.Century. 'Two Sportsmen with Dogs in a Landscape', Watercolour on laid paper. Inscribed to label verso, 24.1 x 34.2cm. Provenance: with J S Maas & Co Ltd, London, Spring Exhibition, 1965, No.104.
Woollett was an artist, draughtsman and engraver widely regarded as the pre-eminent printmaker of his day. The son of an innkeeper, from Maidstone, Kent. In 1750 he was apprenticed to John Tinney at the Goldsmith’s Company. By 1759, he was studying at St Martin’s Lane Academy. His earliest prints are of country houses and gardens, after his own designs. His original watercolours are exceptionally rare. He was first employed as an engraver by John Boydell in 1760. His engraving after Richard Wilson’s ‘The Destruction of the Children of Niobe’ won him considerable critical acclaim and, as a result, Alan Ramsay invited him to engrave his portrait of George III. Woollett reportedly died ‘from the effect of an accident, unskilfully treated’. There is a monument to him in Westminster Abbey.