Fine large mezzotint engraving by Samuel William Reynolds after the portrait by Thomas Foster
[London]: [Ponier], .
A striking three-quarter length image of the composer seated, holding a rolled sheaf of blank music paper. 492 x 356 mm. Proof before letters.
Slightly worn; two small edge tears to left margin; trimmed at lower margin to just within plate mark. A very good, bright impression overall.
Whitman: Nineteenth Century Mezzotinters: Samuel William Reynolds (29.1). The original oil painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821 and then in the third exhibition of national portraits in South Kensington in 1868; its whereabouts since that time is not known.
"In his day [Bishop] enjoyed a commanding reputation as the guardian of the best traditions of English song, and for a time he kept English opera alive almost single-handed. ... Eclipsing all else in popularity is the ballad Home, Sweet Home. It was foreshadowed in Who Wants a Wife? (1816) and as a ‘Sicilian Air’ in a volume of National Airs which he edited in 1821. Then he used it as the theme-song of Clari (1823), with the now famous words by the American poet John Howard Payne, and repeated it in various transformations throughout the opera. Its fame was immediate, and spread quickly through Europe. It was used not only in the overture of Bishop's Home, Sweet Home (1829) but also as a leading motif in Donizetti's Anna Bolena (1830), and it appears to have taken a permanent place in European and American folksong. It reached its height of popularity after 1850, when Jenny Lind made it her own and it became the staple item of every ballad concert." Nicholas Temperley and Bruce Carr in Grove Music Online.
Price: $400.00 other currencies