Page:Nollekens and His Times, Volume 2.djvu/488

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476
NOLLEKENS'S CONTEMPORARIES.

part of Stothard, the story runs thus. Mr. Cromek had agreed with that artist to employ him upon a picture of the Procession of Chaucer's Pilgrimage to Canterbury, for which he first agreed to pay him sixty guineas, but in order to enable him to finish it in a more exquisite manner, promised him forty more, with an intention of engaging Bromley to engrave it; but in consequence of some occurrence, his name was withdrawn, and Schiavonetti was employed. during the time Stothard was painting the picture, Blake called to see it, and appeared so delighted with it, that Stothard, sincerely wishing to please an old friend with whom he had lived so cordially for many years, and from whose works he always most liberally declared he had received much pleasure and edification, expressed a wish to introduce his portrait as one of the party, as a mark of esteem.

Mr. Hoppner, in a letter to a friend, dated May 30th, 1807, says of it,

This intelligent group is rendered still more interesting by the charm of colouring, which though simple is strong, and most harmoniously distributed throughout the picture.

This picture, which is larger than the print, is now in the possession of Thomas Butts, Esq. a gentleman friendly to Blake, and who is in possession of a considerable number of his works.