© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
G4271
People
Abraham Raimbach, British, English (1776 - 1843)
After Francesco Bartolozzi, Italian (Florence, Italy 1727 - 1815 Lisbon, Portugal)
After John Singleton Copley, American (Boston, MA 1738 - 1815 London, England)
Title
Key to the Death of the Earl of Chatham
Classification
Prints
Work Type
print
Date
1791
Places
Creation Place: Europe, United Kingdom, England, London
Culture
Italian
Physical Descriptions
Technique
Engraving
Dimensions
sheet: 24.3 × 80.9 cm (9 9/16 × 31 7/8 in.)
plate: 23 × 80.9 cm (9 1/16 × 31 7/8 in.)
framed: 37.8 × 92.4 × 3.2 cm (14 7/8 × 36 3/8 × 1 1/4 in.)
Provenance
Acquired in the 19th century
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
T. 1213
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gray Collection of Engravings Fund
Accession Year
1818
Object Number
G4271
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Descriptions

Label Text: The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820 , written 2017
After leaving the colonies for London in 1774, John Singleton Copley donated numerous prints after his paintings to the Philosophy Chamber. This work (G191), an impression of which he bequeathed in 1792, was engraved after one of the most acclaimed paintings from his British period. It depicts William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, fainting in the House of Lords while fervently arguing for the reestablishment of peaceful relations with the American colonies. A model to Harvard students learning the art of oratory, Pitt died a month after delivering this impassioned plea. Though engraver Francesco Bartolozzi could not capture the massive scale and vibrant tonalities of the original painting, he took care to preserve the individuality of the 54 politicians who attended Pitt’s speech. Copley famously took the likenesses of each of these men from life; in both painting and print, no two faces are alike. Copley’s heirs sent Harvard an engraved key (G4271) to the painting after the artist’s death.

Publication History

Abraham Raimbach, Memoirs and Recollections of the Late Abraham Raimbach, Esq., Frederick Shoberl Junior (London, 1843), p. 12-13 [reference citation]

Andrew White Tuer, Bartolozzi and his Works: A Biographical and Descriptive Account of the Life and Career of Francesco Bartolozzi, R.A., Field & Tuer (London, 1882), pp. 45-47 [reference citation]

Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 109, Plate 45b; ; p. 58 in María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui's "A Repository of Gifts"

Exhibition History

The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/19/2017 - 12/31/2017; The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, 04/17/2018 - 07/15/2018

Related Works

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu