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Samuel Arlent Edwards. 1861-1938.

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Emma, Lady Hamilton (after George Romney). 1902. Mezzotint. 4 x 4 (sheet 8 x 6). Printed on Japanese vellum, Published in New York in 1902 by L. Katz, 314 Columbus Avenue. Signed in pencil. $100.

Samuel Arlent Edwards was born in 1862 in Somerset, England. He studied art and architecture at the Kensington Museum Art School from 1877 to 1881, and then continued studies in engraving with Appleton, Josey & Alais in London. He achieved early success in making mezzotint reproductions of well-known paintings, a path he was to follow all his life. In 1887, he enjoyed the distinction of having an engraving exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.

In 1890 he came to the United States and established himself in New York as a book illustrator under the name S. Arlent Edwards. Edwards' work in New York was recognized by American and European collectors. He established a well-deserved reputation for his meticulous copies of old master paintings by such artists as Botticelli, Da Vinci, Nattier, Boucher, Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Romney. He often chose a dominating detail or image as his work's focus, however, rather than reproducing the entire painting.

Edwards himself inked and printed each plate for every copy, and therefore no two prints were exactly alike. He made only a limited number of copies of each work, insisting that each be sold framed, and then he destroyed each plate. His engravings were sold to subscribers by major dealers such as D. B. Butler and M. Knoedler in New York. In 1934 he settled in Westport, Connecticut, and died there in November 1938.

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