Walker, Anthony (DNB00)

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WALKER, ANTHONY (1726–1765), draughtsman and engraver, was born at Thirsk in Yorkshire in 1726, the son of a tailor. Coming to London, he studied drawing at the St. Martin's Lane academy, and was instructed in engraving by John Tinney [q. v.] He was a clever artist, and became well known by his small book-illustrations, which were neatly executed from his own designs. He also engraved for Boydell some large single plates, of which the best are ‘The Angel departing from Tobit and his Family,’ after Rembrandt; ‘The Country Attorney and his Clients,’ from a picture attributed to Holbein; ‘Dentatus refusing the Presents of the Samnites,’ after P. da Cortona; and ‘Law’ and ‘Medicine,’ a pair, after A. van Ostade. These were exhibited with the Incorporated Society of Artists in 1763–5. Walker engraved the figures in Woollett's celebrated plate of ‘Niobe.’ He died at Kensington on 9 May 1765, and was buried in the parish churchyard.

William Walker (1729–1793), brother of Anthony, was born at Thirsk in November 1729, and apprenticed to a dyer. Subsequently he followed his brother to London, and was taught engraving by him. He excelled in his book-illustrations, which are very numerous, and was employed upon Sandby's ‘Views in England and Wales,’ Throsby's ‘Views in Leicestershire,’ and Harrison's ‘Classics.’ For Boydell he executed a few large plates which were less successful. These include ‘Sir Balthasar Gerbier and his Family,’ after Van Dyck, 1766; ‘Diana and Calisto,’ after Le Moine, 1767; ‘The Power of Beauty,’ after P. Lauri, 1767; and ‘Lions at Play,’ after Rubens, 1769. Walker devised the practice of re-biting, of which Woollett made great use. He died in Rosoman Street, Clerkenwell. on 18 Feb. 1793.

John Walker (fl. 1800), son of William, became a landscape-engraver, and assisted his father on many of his plates. He is known as the projector and editor of the ‘Copper Plate Magazine, or Monthly Cabinet of Picturesque Prints, consisting of Views in Great Britain and Ireland,’ 1792–1802, most of the plates in which were executed by himself. A selection from the earlier volumes of this work was issued in a different form by Walker in 1799, with the title ‘The Itinerant.’

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of English Engravers in British Museum (Addit. MS. 33407); Gent. Mag. 1793, i. 279.]

F. M. O'D.