Joseph Collyer (1748 – 1827) after Francis Wheatley (1747 – 1801)

The Volunteers of the City and County of Dublin


Monochrome print

28 x 31 cm

A monochrome print depicting Dublin regiments of the Irish Volunteers meeting on College Green. Francis Wheatley depicted the scene in oils in 1779, and Joseph Collyer engraved it in 1781. Wheatley went to Dublin in 1779 and established himself there as a portrait-painter; this view of the Dublin Volunteers became the basis for a best-selling print bought by numerous Irish Patriots.

Volunteers were local Irish militias raised by community initiative in Ireland in 1778. Their original purpose was to guard against invasion and to preserve law and order at a time when British soldiers were withdrawn from Ireland to fight abroad during the American Revolutionary War and the government failed to organise its own militia. Taking advantage of Britain’s preoccupation with its rebelling American colonies, the Volunteers were able to pressure Westminster into conceding legislative independence to the Dublin parliament.

Francis Wheatley was an English portrait and landscape painter who studied at the Royal Academy, and won several prizes from the Society of Arts. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1790, and an academician in the following year.

Joseph Collyer was a British engraver. In 1770 where he exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time; he was elected an associate engraver of the Royal Academy, and appointed portrait engraver to Queen Charlotte in 1786.

Condition: fair. Some browning and staining. In handsome rosewood frame.

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