Place Published: London
Publisher: J. Dickinson New Bond,
Date Published: 1831
Edition: Later edition
Binding: No binding
SCARCE FANNY KEMBLE 1831 EDITION ENGRAVING
1831. London, J. Dickinson New Bond, after Sir Thomas Lawrence June 1831 Dickinson
Paper size 16 in. x 12 inches. Image size; 7-1/2 x 6 inches (not including printed text)
Printed text under image: ‘To Mrs Charles Kemble with Sir Thos Lawrence’s Respects’, (Fanny’s mother), 'Miss Fanny Kemble', 'The last work of Sir Thomas Lawrence', 'Engraved on steel by C. Picart ' (stipple engraving), 'London published published June 1831, by J. Dickinson, 114 New Bond Street., 'Proof', 'Printed by J. Lahee.'
Some soiling, small edge tears and creases, otherwise fair to good condition. Scarce engraving with only two similar 1831 editions located at National Gallery NPG D36826 which is coloured and Royal Trust Collection RCIN 657360.
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy.
“Lawrence was an extremely prolific and fashionable painter, and hundreds of engravings were published after his work, especially those of popular figures. His portrait of Fanny Kemble was a black, red and white chalk drawing made in 1829, and was his last completed work before his death in January 1830. It was first engraved as a lithograph by Richard James Lane in 1830 (the proofs dated 1829), and then in stipple by Charles Picart the following year. Both reproduced Lawrence’s inscription on the original drawing, ‘To Mrs Charles Kemble with Sir Thos Lawrence’s Respects’ (Fanny’s mother). The original drawing was recorded in 1962 at Ightham Mote in Kent, now in the care of the National Trust.” quoted from National Portrait Gallery, Erika Ingham
Fanny Kemble was a very successful actress from a major theatrical family; her father was Charles Kemble and her aunt, Sarah Siddons. Following a string of London hits she travelled to America, touring with her father. There she married a rich American planter, Pierce Butler, in 1834. Visiting his estates in Georgia, she was appalled to discover that the source of his wealth was slavery and she tried to alleviate some of the worst suffering she found there. The marriage was clearly doomed and they finally divorced in 1848-9. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, her Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-9 was published in 1863 by abolitionists, detailing the horrors she had witnessed. She continued to live in Britain and in the United States, writing and occasionally giving public readings. She is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Fair to Good. Item #2557