Thomas Burke, Engraver

(b. 1749,d. 1815)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Dublin in 1749. He learned the art of mezzotint engraving as a pupil of John Dixon (q.v.); but whether this was while Dixon was in Dublin or after he went to London in 1765 is not known. He worked in London as a mezzotinter from about 1771 to 1775, afterwards confining himself chiefly to engraving in stipple, in which method he produced a number of fine works. His stipple prints have an exceptional richness and depth, and Angelica Kauffmann preferred him to Bartolozzi or any other engraver as an interpreter of her works. He engraved a considerable number of plates after her. He died in London on 31st December, 1815. Seven mezzotints by Burke are known. Among his principal works in stipple are:—

Telemachus at the Court of Sparta; 1778.

Andromache at Hector's Grave.

Papirius Praetextatus entreated by his mother to disclose the Secrets of the Senate; 1780.

Jupitor and Calisto; 1782.

Una; 1783.


The Empress Messalina sacrificing to Venus and Cupid; 1782.

Cupid and Ganymede; 1784.

Cupid and Cephisa; 1789.

Cleopatra throwing herself at the feet of Augustus; 1786.

Cupid finding Aglaia asleep binds her to a laurel.

Cupid discovered by Euphrosyne.

Alexandra resigning his mistress Campaspe to Apelles.

Conjugal Love.

Angelica and Sacripante.

Henry and Emma, illustration from Prior's Poem.

Rinaldo and Armida.

Rebecca, Lady Rushout and her daughter Anne; 1784. This print was republished in 1794 with the title "Contentment and Innocence." All the foregoing are after Angelica Kauffmann. The last two were considered by his contemporaries as Burke's masterpieces.

Rebecca, Lady Northwick; after Plimer.

The Ladies Rushout; after Plimer.

King John signing Magna Charta; after Mortimer.

The Battle of Agincourt; after Mortimer.

The Nightmare; after Fuseli.

Saturday Morning, favourite Chickens going to Market, 1797, after W. R. Bigg.

The Curate returned from Duty; after H. Singleton.

The Cottager's Meal; after H. Singleton.

Rent Day; after H. Singleton.

Tithe Day; after H. Singleton.

The Sailor's Return; after W. Woolley.

The Soldier's Return; after W. Woolley.

Duchess of Richmond; 1797, after T. Downman.

Mrs. Billington; after De Koster.

The Shepherdess of the Alps; after S. Shelley.

Duchess of York; after H. Hone.

The Holy Family; 1783, after Murillo.

Cupid; after Bartolozzi.

Cupid; after Reinagle.

Mrs. Siddons; after Bateman.

George, Prince of Wales; after Cosway.

Louisa, Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt; after Schroeder.

The Race-horse, Eclipse; after Stubbs.

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