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Francesco Bartolozzi RA - Rowena


Vortigern and Rowena or the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain.
Printed in dark sepia, Stipple print (possibly a proof print before the title was added) by Francesco Bartolozzi after J. F. Rigaud R.A.
London Publish'd Feb.y 14. 1788 by W. Palmer, No.163 Strand.

Vortigern was the Saxon King of Britain in 5 AD. He forged an alliance with brothers, Hengist and Horsa, who were given lands in Lincolnshire in return for help in suppressing the Picts. The alliance was further enforced when King Vortigern fell in love with Renwein (or Rowena), the beautiful daughter of Hengist who agreed to their marriage in exchange for the whole of Kent. The scene captured here is clearly the banquet scene depicting the meeting of Vortigern and Rowena. The helmeted brooding figure of Hengist is seen seated on the left. Sometime later, in an attempt to bring all of Britain under Saxon control Vortigern arranged a meeting with Hengist, then King of the Jutes. However, Hengist armed his men who then massacred some 500 Saxon noblemen in an attack which became known as ‘the night of the long knives’

Condition: Good bold imprint, generous margins, pencil title, slight crease to top right corner.

Title: Vortigern and Rowena or the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain
Medium: Stipple print Image Size: 285 x 380mm, 11.25 x 15 "
Order No. 7359 Price: £175.00 Paper Size: 417 x 484mm, 16.5 x 23 "
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Francesco Bartolozzi RA 1727 - 1815
Famous Italian draughtsman, etcher, line and stipple engraver of portraits , decorative and historical subjects after his own designs and those of his contemporaries and old master painters. Born in Florence on the 25th September 1727, he originally intended to follow his father's profession as a gold and silversmith. He came under the tutelage of two Florentine artists, Ignazio Hugford and Giovanni Domenico Ferretti who instructed him in painting. After three years he became a pupil of Joseph Wagner in Venice, he started his career reproducing works by Italian painters and his best plates of this period are his etchings of the 'Months of the Year' after G. Zocchi.

In 1764, he came to to England where, after reproducing Guercino's drawings in the Royal Collection, he took up stipple engraving, the medium for which he is best known. He setup a studio which turned out vast quantities of 'furniture prints', invariably roundels or ovals. He is particularly remembered for his renderings of allegorical or mythological subjects after his fellow Italian painters especially G. B. Cipriani and Angelica Kauffman which often found printed in red, sepia or other colours.

Latterly, (1802) Bartolozzi became director of the National Academy of Lisbon, the city where he died on the 7th of March 1815.

Francesco Bartolozzi

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Original 18th century Bartolozzi print - Vortigern and Rowena or the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain

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