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William Woollett was one of the most celebrated engravers of his day. He is shown here about to start work on his engraving of Benjamin West’s painting The Death of General Wolfe. Part of the picture can be seen in the background on the left. Although not a true representation of how an engraver would work, this portrait does show Woollett holding the copper plate on which the painting was to be reproduced. In his right hand is a pointed steel burin, or graver. It was primarily through the distribution of engravings that the image of Wolfe achieved iconic status.

February 2016