James Wilson, Mezzotint Engraver

(fl. 1764-1774)

Mezzotint Engraver

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born, according to Redgrave, about 1735. As a young man he was employed in the office in Dublin of Alexander Mangin, agent to the Chelsea Pensioners in Ireland. Here he had opportunities of seeing his employer's valuable collection of prints, and having some skill in drawing he turned his attention to engraving, especially in mezzotint, and by his own unaided efforts arrived at a proficiency in the art. Finding no opening in Dublin he went to London, where his merit as an engraver was recognized. He scraped a number of mezzotint plates, chiefly copies from the works of other engravers, for Sayer and other publishers. His prints, twenty-six of which are catalogued by Chaloner Smith, range in date from 1764 to 1774. He was able to make sufficient money to retire from his profession. He died about 1780.

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