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Mortimer had a brief career as an artist. However, his energy and restlessness, as well as his originality, ensured that he became a leader in his profession. Mortimer took some of his inspiration from the Neopolitan painter Salvator Rosa (1615-1673). Salvator painted wild and savage landscapes which included figures of brigands or banditti. Mortimer also painted banditti subjects and became known as 'the English Salvator'. Such subjects were popular during the eighteenth century. This drawing is one in a series of six showing banditti engaged in various activities which Mortimer exhibited in London in 1773. They were all etched and published in 1779.

September 2004