Lot 106: Joseph Wagner (Thalendorf, 1706 - Munich, 1780)
October 29, 2016
Wells, ME, USA
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Description: Joseph Wagner (Thalendorf, 1706 - Munich, 1780) a highly regarded 18th century engraver, Joseph Wagner studied painting under Jacopo Amigoni, in Venice. This Italian master persuaded Wagner to turn his talents to the art of engraving. This proved to be to Amigoni's advantage as for the following ten years, Joseph Wagner was largely employed by him to engrave designs from his paintings. Wagner thus accompanied his former teacher to Rome, Bologna, Paris and England (1733). His first commission in England was to engrave the portraits of the daughters of George II -- Anne, Amelia and Caroline. After residing in London for several years, Wagner returned to Venice. In the following years he excelled in portrait studies, Biblical scenes and landscape depictions. Among his most famous engravings (as listed by G. C. Williamson ) are Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, The Holy Family (after Veronese), St. John in the Desert, The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel and Mary, the Infant Jesus and Joseph, after the design of Solimena. (G. C. Williamson, Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Bell & Sons, London, 1934, Vol. V, p. 331). During the latter part of his career in Venice, Joseph Wagner opened a school of engraving as well as conducting a profitable publishing house. Among Wagner's best known assistants and students were Flipart, Beraldi and Francesco Bartolozzi, who would become England's greatest master of the stipple engraving in the late eighteenth century. Offered here is a wonderful original engraving printed upon eighteenth century hand-made, laid paper, with thin margins [often the custom during this period], image approx. 8-3/4 x 6" plus thin margins. It is a superb impression with full tonal contrasts and in excellent condition throughout. A beautiful, original example of the engraved art of Joseph Wagner.
Condition Report: Tipped at top corners to stiff paper stock.