bound volume (dimensions 54 x 38 x 6) inscr. on plate below image "ARCANGELUS CORELLIUS de FUSIGNANO dictus BONONIENSIS/ Liquisse Infernas Iam Credimus Orphea Sedes / Et terras habitare, hujus sub imagine formae. / Divinus patet Ipse Orpheus, dum numine digna / Arte modos fingit, vel chordas mulcet. utramque / Agnoscit Laudem, meritosque BRITANNUS honores."; inscr. on plate b.l. "H. Howard ad vivum pinxit"; inscr. on plate b.r. "I Smith Anglus fecit."; inscr. on page t.r. hand-written in brown ink "98"
CRE SMITH, John; (English; 1652-1743) AFTER HOWARD, Hugh; (Irish; 1675-1737) Part of William Hunter's original bequest, this is one of three volumes which together contain 488 mezzotints, almost all made or published by John Smith. About two thirds are portraits of eminent late Stuart, early Hanoverian persons, and one third fancy and mythological subjects.
Instrumental in raising the standard of mezzotint portraits, Smith was the first British printmaker to gain a European reputation, and examples of his work were essential for any serious early to mid 18th century European print collection.
Hunter's set of volumes is a rare surviving example of a comprehensive collection of mezzotints compiled in the 1730s.
Arcangelo Corelli was a musician and composer and was well known across Europe. It seems possible that Irish painter Hugh Howard painted his portrait whilst on a Grand Tour in Italy early in his career.