Carter, James (DNB00)

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CARTER, JAMES (1798–1855), engraver, was born in the parish of Shoreditch in 1798, and in his youth gained the silver medal of the Society of Arts for drawing. He was first articled to Mr. Tyrrel, an architectural engraver, but later on abandoned this class of engraving for landscapes and figures. In this style he attained great proficiency, although he does not appear to have had any instruction after he quitted Mr. Tyrrel. From 1830 to 1840 he was employed largely on engravings for the annuals, especially Jennings's ‘Landscape Annual,’ for which he executed several plates after Samuel Prout, David Roberts, and James Holland. He was also employed by Weale, the fine art publisher, in numerous architectural works. When the engravings from the Vernon Gallery appeared in the ‘Art Journal,’ Carter was entrusted with the task of engraving ‘The Village Festival,’ painted by Goodall. This was followed in the same series by engravings from ‘The Angler's Nook,’ painted by Nasmyth, and ‘Hadrian's Villa,’ painted by Richard Wilson; these works gave so much satisfaction, that Mr. E. M. Ward specially requested that he should be employed to engrave his picture of ‘The South Sea Bubble,’ and subsequently employed him on his own behalf to engrave his picture of ‘Benjamin West's First Essay in Art.’ This plate he completed but a short time before his death, which occurred at the end of August 1855, probably hastened by his devotion to his work. Like many workers in the same profession, Carter found it very unremunerative, and made no provision for a numerous family. Besides the engravings already mentioned, he engraved among others a plate from his own design of ‘Cromwell dictating to Milton the Despatch on behalf of the Waldenses’ and a portrait of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, after Samuel Drummond.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School; Le Blanc's Manuel de l'Amateur d'Estampes; Art Journal, 1855.]

L. C.