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Francesco Bartolozzi RA (Florence, 21 September 1727 – 7 March 1815, Lisbon) was an Italian engraver, whose most productive period was spent in London. He is noted for popularising the "crayon" method of engraving.

Francesco Bartolozzi
Portrait of Francesco Bartolozzi, Tate, London
Born21 September 1727
Florence, Italy
Died7 March 1815
Lisbon, Portugal
EducationIgnazio Hugford and Giovanni Domenico Ferretti
Known forEngraving

Early lifeEdit

Bartolozzi was born in Florence in 1727. He was originally destined to follow the profession of his father, a gold- and silver-smith, but he manifested so much skill and taste in designing that he was placed under the supervision of two Florentine artists, including Ignazio Hugford and Giovanni Domenico Ferretti who instructed him in painting. After devoting three years to that art, he went to Venice and studied engraving. He particularly admired the work of Joseph Wagner.[1]

Early careerEdit

His first productions in Venice were plates in the style of Marco Ricci, Zuccarelli, and others, while working for Wagner, which began to draw attention. He then moved for a short time to Rome, where he completed a set of engravings representing frescoes at Grottaferrata by Domenichino depicting the life of St Nilus. He soon returned to Venice and left for London in 1764.

A detail of one of Bartolozzi's prints, showing the tonal effects of the technique of stipple engraving, in which he was an expert
Queen Charlotte painted by William Beechey, engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi.
Bartolozzi's engraving of Lady Meutas after Holbein.

Career in LondonEdit

He lived in London for nearly forty years. He produced an enormous number of engravings, including Clytie after Annibale Carracci, and of the Virgin and Child, after Carlo Dolci. A large proportion of them are from the works of Cipriani and Angelica Kauffman. Bartolozzi also contributed a number of plates to Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. He also drew sketches of his own in red chalk. Soon after arriving in London, he was appointed 'Engraver to the King' with an annual salary of £300. He was elected a founding member of the Royal Academy in 1768, and in 1802 became the founding President of the short-lived Society of Engravers.

His pupils were Michele Benedetti, Ignatius Joseph van den Berghe, Thomas Cheesman, Lambertus Antonius Claessens, Daniel Gardner, Christiaan Josi, Johan Fredrik Martin, Conrad Martin Metz, Luigi Schiavonetti, John Keyse Sherwin, Heinrich Sintzenich, Peltro William Tomkins, Domenico Bernardo Zilotti,[2] and Gabriel Scorodomoff.[3][4]

Bartolozzi was not the inventor of the so-called crayon manner of engraving, which imitated the subtleties of chalk drawings, but he made it the fashion.

Later lifeEdit

In 1802, Bartolozzi accepted the post of director of the National Academy of Lisbon, the city where he died. His son Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi, born in 1757, was also an engraver, and the father of Madame Vestris.


Ticozzi and Bryan both published lists of his output, including:

Original etchingsEdit

  • Abraham and the Angels.
  • The Miracle of the Manna.
  • Job abandoned by his Friends.
  • Charity, an oval; inscribed Ipse feci .
  • The Origin of Painting (1787).
  • The Virgin and Infant; (circular).

Etchings after masterworksEdit

Etchings after CiprianiEdit

  • The Parting of Achilles and Briseis.
  • Hector takes leave of Andromache.
  • Chryseis restored to her Father.
  • The Death of Dido.
  • Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida.
  • Venus presenting the Cestus to Juno.
  • Venus attired by the Graces .
  • Tancred and Herminia and Tancred and Clorinda.
  • Shakespeare crowned by Immortality.
  • Morning for the Death of lord Rufsell.

Engravings after Angelica KauffmanEdit

  • Socrates in Prison.
  • Penelope lamenting Ulysses.
  • Telemachus and Mentor in the Isle of Calypso.
  • Paulus Emilias educating his Children.
  • Coriolanus appeased by his Family
  • The Beautiful Rhodope in love with Aesope (1780s, inscription: From an original painting of the same size by Signora Angelica Kauffman. In the possession of Charles Boddam sun Esqv.)



  1. ^ Ticozzi, p117.
  2. ^ Francesco Bartolozzi in the RKD
  3. ^
  4. ^ For a full list of his pupils in London see David Alexander, "A Cosmopolitan Engraver in London: Francesco Bartolozzi's Studio, 1763-1802", Print Quarterly, volume XXXV no. 1 (March 2018), pp.6-26
  5. ^ Lord Mansfield (after Sir Joshua Reynolds), 1786.
  6. ^ Mary, Queen of Scots, with her Little Son James I (after Zuccaro), 1779.


  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bartolozzi, Francesco" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Ticozzi, Stefano (1830). Dizionario degli architetti, scultori, pittori, intagliatori in rame ed in pietra, coniatori di medaglie, musaicisti, niellatori, intarsiatori d’ogni etá e d’ogni nazione' (Volume 1). Gaetano Schiepatti; Digitized by Googlebooks, Jan 24, 2007. pp. 117–120.
  • Bryan, Michael (1886). Robert Edmund Graves (ed.). Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Biographical and Critical (Volume I: A-K). York St. #4, Covent Garden, London; Original from Fogg Library, Digitized May 18, 2007: George Bell and Sons. pp. 89–90.

External linksEdit