Walter Scott


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Henry Meyer (1782?-1847)

The portrait painter and engraver Henry Hoppner Meyer was born in London about 1782. Thought to be the son of an engraver (possibly J.H. Meyer), he was a nephew of the painter John Hoppner. He trained under Francesco Bartolozzi, whose influence may be seen in the dotted manner of much of Meyer's work in stipple and mezzotint. Meyer worked mainly for print publishers and engraved over 250 works after masters of the English school. More at home engraving in copper than in steel, Meyer did relatively little work for the book trade. He also painted a large number of portraits, both in oil and watercolour, exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1821 and 1826. He was one of the founding members of the Society of British Artists, becoming its President in 1827. Meyer's engraved work consists largely of portraits, including likenesses of George IV, Nelson, and Byron. He died on 28 May 1847.

Meyer appears to have produced three Scott-related engravings. In 1818 he engraved a plate derived from the 1808 portrait of Scott by Sir Henry Raeburn for the New Monthly Magazine. In 1820, he engraved one of the earliest illustrations to the Waverley Novels, The Antiquary Buying Fish from Mrs Mucklebackit after Sir William Allan for Illustrations of the Novels and Tales of the Author of ‘Waverley’. Finally in 1833, he engraved Janet Foster (Kenilworth) for Portraits of the Principal Female Characters in the Waverley Novels.

Corson: Scott Papers/71
Click on the thumbnails to see Meyer's engravings of Janet Foster (left) and The Antiquary Buying Fish from Mrs Mucklebackit (right)
Corson H.All


  • Bryan, Michael. Dictionary of Painters and Engravers: Biographical and Critical. New ed., rev. and enl., ed. Robert Edmund Graves (London: G. Bell, 1886-1889)
  • Buss, Jacques (ed.). Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays (Paris: Gründ, 1999)
  • Dictionary of National Biography (London: Oxford University Press, 1921)
  • Hunnisett, Basil. A Dictionary of British Steel Engravers (Leigh-on-Sea: F. Lewis, 1980)
  • Redgrave, Samuel. A Dictionary of Artists of the English School: Painters, Sculptors, Architects with Notices of their Lives and Work (London: G. Bell, 1878)
  • Russell, Francis. Portraits of Sir Walter Scott: A Study of Romantic Portraiture (London: The Author, 1987)
  • Thieme, Ulrich, and Felix Becker (eds). Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler: von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Leipzig: Seemann, 1907-50)

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