The first Scene of the Maid of the Mill, as Designed by Mr. Richards. Fine large engraving by William Woollett (1735-1785) after the painting by John Inigo Richards (1731-1810)

London: Wm. Woollett, Jany. 15th 1768. Large oblong folio. Image size 380 x 470 mm., sheet size 406 x 480 mm. Printed on ivory laid paper.

The scene depicts a barn to the left with two women standing by the entrance, one of them (Fanny) is mending a net. There is a mill in the centre, from which a person looks out a window; a man carries a sack over a gate. A woman (Patty) sits reading in the upstairs window of a house to the right; Giles crosses the courtyard and gestures to the left.

Very slightly worn; small repair to verso.; hinged at upper corners of verso. A very good impression.

Scarce. Fagan: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Engraved Works of William Woollett 60. BM: 1766, 1114.554.

"In autumn 1764... [Arnold] was engaged by John Beard as Covent Garden's harpsichordist; his duties included rehearsing the singers and composing such new music as might be required. He compiled three pastiche operas at this time... The Maid of the Mill was by far the most successful... Bickerstaff's libretto was a bowdlerized version of Richardson's Pamela, and the music broke new ground by borrowing not only from recent Italian operas but also from operas produced in Paris by Monsigny, Philidor and Duni." TNG, Vol. 1, p. 616.

Richards was a noted scene painter, machinist, and theatre designer. The present work is his best-known scene design. There are three known versions of the oil painting, one held at the Yale Center for British Art in the Paul Mellon Collection. For an extensive list of Richards's theatrical scenes see Highfill et al., Vol. 12, pp. 358-362. Item #29668

Price: $550.00  other currencies

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