Boys Fishing


Mezzotint by William Ward 1820

Compare the two versions

Boys Fishing is signed and dated 1814 and was published by William's brother Francis in April 1820. This version is engraved in mezzotint by William Ward.

Although this mezzotint is clearly of a painting signed by William and dated 1814, no record of the original can be found. It is not mentioned nor listed in Memoirs, the biography by his son Wilkie Collins, though this mezzotint and the original etching are listed (II p353).

Published April 1820. by Francis Collins. 11. New Cavendish St. Portland Place.

Francis Collins, (1790?-1833) was a close companion and associate of his brother William, living with him at this time at his house in New Cavendish Street. He made his living, as their father had, as a picture dealer and restorer and was a source of inspiration and advice to his elder brother. 

[signed] W. Collins 1814
Painted & Etched by William Collins R.A. Elect

William was elected an associate of the Royal Academy on 7 November 1814. On 10 February 1819 he missed election as a full member of the Academy by one vote but a year later, in February 1820, he was finally elected. When this print was published, in April 1820, he had been elected but apparently not formally admitted to the Academy. In the other version of this etching, not mezzotinted by Ward, he is simply R.A.

Engraved in Mezzotinto by Wm Ward, A.R.A.

Mezzotinto is an Italian word meaning 'half-colour'. It was a form of engraving allowing greys as well as black and white to be produced.

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