Jehner, Isaac (DNB00)

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JEHNER, afterwards JENNER, ISAAC (1750–1806?), portrait-painter and engraver in mezzotint, born in Westminster in 1750, was son of a German gunsmith, who is credited with having introduced the art of silver-plating into England. At the age of nine he met with accidents which left him a deformed dwarf for life. When about twenty he was apprenticed for five years to an engraver, and afterwards worked as assistant to William Pether [q. v.], mezzotint-engraver. He also drew and painted portraits in various styles. About 1780 Jehner appears to have settled at Exeter. Among his earlier engravings were Richard, earl of Barrymore, as Cupid, after R. Cosway; Admiral Keppel, after Scott; William, fourth duke of Portland, as a boy, after Sir Joshua Reynolds; ‘A Girl with a Muff’ and ‘Dionysius Areopagita,’ after the same; ‘The Four Seasons,’ after J. Brueghel; ‘The Entombment,’ after Rubens; ‘The Incredulity of St. Thomas,’ after Correggio, &c. In Devonshire he engraved some curious portraits of the Spry family as private plates, and one of Richard Bartlett, from which we learn that Jehner was a freemason; he also engraved in 1799 a small mezzotint portrait of himself, ‘from a small original cast, as large as the life.’ In 1806 he published a sketch of his own career, under the title of ‘Fortune's Football.’ Latterly he altered his name to Jenner. The date of his death is not known.

[Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Graves; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 33402); Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.