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The Continence of Scipio.

After Nicolas Poussin by Francis Legat. The Continence of Scipio "The Continence of Scipio." London. John Boydell. 1784
Black & white copper engraving of The Continence of Scipio, from John Boydell's Houghton Gallery.[a set of 162 prints reproducing paintings from the collection of Sir Robert Walpole at Houghton].
Proof before title; coat of arms, "Nichs. Poussin, pinxit./ J. Boydell excudit 1784/ Francis Legat Sculpsit./ In the Gallery [coat of arms] at Houghton./ Publish'd Jany. 1st1 1784, by John Boydell Engraver, in Cheapside London."
The image shows Scipio, on the far left, seated on a throne and being crowned with ivy, his left hand reaching out to Allucius, who bows before him; between the two stands a young woman, two soldiers on the right, stone tower in the background.

Scipio Africanus; Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major (236 BC - c.184 B)was a Roman general whose tactics concluded the second Punic War by defeating the Carthaginians in 206 and Hannibal in Africa in 202.
Many legends accumulated around him, many derived from stories of Alexander the Great. Dark impression; light toning; proof before title; margins trimmed to plate mark; creasing at lower edge in publishers imprint.

John Boydell ( 1719 - 1804)
The leading London print publisher; his international trade did much to establish British painting on a European basis. 1782 onwards, Alderman; 1790-1, Lord Mayor of London.
Major series of prints:
- "The Most Capital Paintings in England" (the first three volumes originally published under the title "Sculptura Britannica"): 1763-86, issued in parts and available bound up as volumes from 1769 onwards
- "Houghton Gallery": 1774-88, a set of 162 prints reproducing paintings from the collection of Sir Robert Walpole at Houghton. The project was initiated by John Boydell after it had become increasingly likely that the collection formed by Robert Walpole at Hougthon would have to be sold (the paintings were eventually sold to Catherine of Russia in 1778 and became part of the collection of the Hermitage). The plates were published from 1774 to 1788, when they were gathered in two volumes (first volume of 62 plates, with 60 numbered plates, a frontispiece and a title-page; second volume of 71 plates, with 69 numbered plates, a frontispiece and a title-page).
Forty-five engravers took part in the project. Among them was J. B. Michel, who did fifteen engravings, and five stipple engravings.
Possibly his most famous work is the "Shakespeare Gallery": 1786, proposals published in the press by John and Josiah Boydell and George Nicol for an edition of the works of Shakespeare by George Steevens, with typography by Bulmer, paper by Whatman, and one series of large and another series of small prints, all taken from specially commissioned paintings; the Gallery opened in Pall Mall in 1789, prints appeared from 1792 onwards, and the edition of Shakespeare in 1802.

Francis Legat ( 1761 - 1809)
Engraver,worked especially for Boydell; b. Scotland 1761; d. London 1809; studied in Edinburgh; entered Royal AcademySchools 1783 as engraver; exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1796 and 1800.

Nicolas Poussin (1594 - 1665)
was the leading painter of the classical French Baroque style, although he spent most of his working life in Rome. His work is characterized by clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. Until the 20th century he remained a major inspiration for such classically oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Paul Cézanne.
He worked in Rome for a circle of leading collectors there and elsewhere, except for a short period when Cardinal Richelieu ordered him back to France to serve as First Painter to the King. Most of his works are history paintings of religious or mythological subjects that very often have a large landscape element.
British Museum no:1982,U.1714.; Rubinstein II.52. 480 by 600mm (19 by 23½ inches).   ref: 2685  €450

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