Edmund Lodge (1756-1839), Portraits of Illustrious Personages of the Court of Henry VIII (London: John Chamberlaine, printed by W. Bulmer, 1812). Graphic Arts (GAX) 2009- in process
This is the second edition of 84 stipple engravings reproducing drawings by Hans Holbein, the younger (1497-1543), with biographical and historical descriptions by Edmund Lodge. It was Queen Caroline (1683-1737), who found the Holbein originals in a bureau at Kensington Palace and asked Richard Dalton (Keeper of the King’s drawings and medals) to have them copied and published. When Chamberlain took over Dalton’s position he also inherited the project. Chamberlain edited and published a folio edition of Holbein’s work in 1792, printed and issued in parts over the next 8 years by William Bulmer and Company, Shakespeare Printing-Office.
For the 1792 edition, Chamberlaine called on Francesco Bartolozzi (1725-1815), to prepare a set of prints. Bartolozzi had developed his own technique of stipple engraving with printed color to reproduce the look of chalk drawings, such as Holbein’s. The folio edition of Illustrious Personages was such a success that a large quarto edition was prepared in 1812 (seen here), using additional engravers working in the style of the elderly Bartolozzi, including Bourlier, Cardon, Cheesman, Cooper, Facius, Knight, Meyer, Minasi, and Nicholls.
Of the 84 portraits, 68 are identified by name. The last 12 could not be identified and are grouped at the front of the book without description. A letterpress index is included in the 1812 edition, seen on the left. In addition, portraits of Holbein and his wife serve as frontispieces to both editions.