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Mrs Cibber, Reverse Glass Mezzotint, 1747

"Mrs Cibber", Reverse Glass Mezzotint

John Faber Jr, after the painting by Thomas Hudson, 1747, 'sold by John Faber at the Golden Hand, Bloomsbury Square', original ebonised and gilt frame, 39cm x 29cm. Rare.

Stock Reference: LH 1815

Reverse Glass Mezzotints were popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries, although due to the fragile nature of the glass, are now relatively scarce. Mezzotint prints on paper were stuck onto glass with a rabbit glue size, and then shaved down from behind with a rubber, until thin. The print was then painted from the reverse in oils. This gives the glass print an attractive luminous glow.

Susannah Maria Cibber (1714-1766) was a famous 18th century singer and actress. Handel admired her and wrote numerous parts for her voice including the Messiah, Samson, and Saul. She was also much admired by her wealthy lodger, one William Sloper- in an unsavoury episode which resulted in a scandalous ménage a trois. In 1738, Mr Cibber accused Sloper of “Assaulting, Ravishing and Carnally Knowing my Wife”. Another account has Mr Cibber forcing Sloper to sleep with his wife at pistol point. Susannah Cibber lies buried in Westminster Abbey.


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