Francesco Bartolozzi: A Master Engraver and Illustrator of the 18th Century


Discover the life and art of Francesco Bartolozzi, the master engraver and illustrator of the 18th century. From his intricate engravings to his collaborations with prominent artists, learn about his contributions to the world of art.

Francesco Bartolozzi


Francesco Bartolozzi was an Italian artist and engraver who lived in the 18th century. He was renowned for his intricate and delicate engravings, which were widely admired for their skillful composition and detail. Throughout his career, Bartolozzi worked with many prominent artists and institutions, producing illustrations, prints, and portraits. In this post, we will explore the life and works of Francesco Bartolozzi, examining his contributions to the world of art and engraving.

Francesco Bartolozzi; (1727-1815), Italian engraver. He was born in Florence, the son of a goldsmith. He studied at the Florentine Academy, where he excelled in drawing. Turning later to engraving, he studied under Joseph Wagner in Venice. He became active in Venice and in Rome, engraving copies of the works of 17th century master painters.

In 1764, at the invitation of the librarian to King George III, he went to London, where he became engraver to the king. He lived in England for nearly 40 years, in close association with his friend Giovanni Cipriani, and produced numerous engraved copies of the works of such artists as Holbein, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Cosway, and Fra Angelico. In 1802, after accepting a commission to make an engraved portrait of the regent of Portugal, he went to Lisbon, where he became director of the Royal Academy. He died in Lisbon on March 7, 1815.

Bartolozzi exerted a strong influence on French and English engravers of his time, who adopted his use of the stipple, or “red chalk,” method. This technique makes it possible to produce varying shades of black and gray, thereby allowing the engraver to achieve a complete range of tones.


Bartolozzi produced more than 700 engravings, prized for their delicacy of execution and accuracy of design. His more notable copies of masterworks include Death of Lord Chatham, after John Singleton Copley; Virgin and Child, after Carlo Dolci; Clyte, after Annibale Carracci; Venus, Cupid, and a Satyr, after Luca Giordano; and Si. Jerome, after Correggio.

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