Dominik Biemann, the greatest Bohemian glass-engraver of his day, treated genre, mythological, religious and landscape subjects, but his reputation rested mainly on his consummate skill as a portrait engraver.

His portraits achieved a unique psychological insight and his work was fashionable and known throughout Europe. The popularity of his work equalled and even surpassed that of the painted miniature with the wealthy bourgeoisie in the second quarter of the 19th century, and only declined with the invention and perfection of portrait photography. This is the artist's only recorded portrait of an English sitter, Joseph Williams Blakesley (1808-1885), an undergraduate at Cambridge in the late 1820s, who was a member of the celebrated Apostles Club and a close friend of Monckton Milnes and Alfred Tennyson.


Anon sale, Christie's, October 1977.

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