Christopher Lennox-Boyd formed what is internationally famous as the greatest private collection of British mezzotints.
Christopher Lennox-Boyd Collection of Mezzotints by Unknown Artist, c. 1680c. 1914
© British Museum
- Art Fund grant:
- £250,000 ( Total: £1,250,000)
- Acquired in:
- Hon Christopher Lennox-Boyd
The British Museum has acquired 7,250 prints which increases their collection of prints of this class by nearly half. Mezzotint was the medium by which British prints swept Continental markets in the late 1760s and 1770s, becoming the most fashionable of all prints. It was one of the greatest items of British export trade, and the means by which British art and (to some extent) culture became know abroad. Within the history of British art, these prints record a large number of paintings that are otherwise unknown. There are also a selection of mezzotint Drolls which record an area of British semi-popular culture and visual iconography that has been almost completely forgotten. The Lennox-Boyd collection is extremely strong in these, and is the only such collection in the world.