Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pine, John

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PINE, JOHN (1690–1756), engraver, born in 1690, practised as an engraver in London. His manner was dry and formal, but of great precision and excellence, resembling that of Bernard Picart, the great French engraver at Amsterdam. It seems probable that Pine was Picart's pupil, since among his earliest works are the illustrations from Picart's designs to ‘Jonah,’ a poem published in 1720. Pine's first work of importance was a series of large and important engravings entitled ‘The Procession and Ceremonies observed at the Time of the Installation of the Knights Companions of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath upon Thursday, June 17, 1725,’ &c. These plates, which contain portraits of the knights and their esquires from drawings by Joseph Highmore [q. v.], were published in 1730 by Pine, with an introductory text in French and English. In 1733 Pine published a facsimile engraving of the ‘Magna Charta’ deed in the Cottonian Library, and in the same year the first volume of a remarkable enterprise in engraving. This was a complete edition of the works of Horace, illustrated from gems and other antiquities, and the whole work engraved on copper plates; the second volume was published in 1737, and this edition has maintained its popularity up to the present day. In 1739 Pine published another work of great interest, entitled ‘The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords, representing the several engagements between the English and Spanish Fleets in the ever-memorable Year mdlxxxviii,’ with portraits, charts of the coasts of England, medals, &c. As these valuable tapestries, executed by H. C. Vroom to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish armada, were subsequently destroyed by fire, Pine's engravings, done from drawings by C. Lempriere, are of the greatest historical value. Pine resided for some time in Old Bond Street, and later had a print-shop in St. Martin's Lane. In 1743 he was appointed Bluemantle pursuivant-at-arms in the Heralds' College, and appears to have taken up his residence there. In 1746 he published a large and important ‘Plan of London,’ in twenty-four sheets on a scale of about nine inches to a mile, from a survey by John Rocque, commenced in 1737; an index to the streets, &c., in this survey, was published in 1747. In 1749 Pine published, besides a copy of the illuminations to the charter of Eton College, two important views (1742) of the interiors of the House of Peers, with the king on the throne, and the House of Commons, with the speaker (Onslow) in the chair, and Sir Robert Walpole addressing the house. These engravings contain numerous portraits. In 1753 Pine published the first volume of an edition of ‘Virgil,’ containing the Bucolics and Georgics, printed in ordinary type, with illustrations similar to those in his edition of ‘Horace;’ but the second volume was never published. In 1755 he published a second ‘Plan of London’ in eight sheets, on a smaller scale than the one already mentioned. Pine appears to have been a stout, jovial man, and was a well-known member of Old Slaughter's Club. He was a personal friend of William Hogarth [q. v.], who painted his portrait (engraved in mezzotint by J. McArdell), in the manner of Rembrandt, and introduced another portrait of him, as a fat friar, in ‘The Gate of Calais,’ published in 1749; from this latter circumstance Pine obtained the nickname of ‘Friar Pine.’ He was associated with Hogarth, Lambert, and others in the petition which resulted in the passing of the act to protect engraved work. Pine was also one of the governors of the Foundling Hospital, and held the office of ‘engraver to the King's Signet and Stamp Office.’ In 1755 he was one of the committee who attempted to form a royal academy, but he did not live to see the plan succeed, as he died on 4 May 1756. He left two sons—Simon Pine, who became a miniature-painter at Bath, and died in 1772; and Robert Edge Pine, who is noticed separately—and a daughter Charlotte, whose portrait was also painted by Hogarth.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Austin Dobson's William Hogarth; Pine's own publications; Somerset House Gazette, No. 1; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum.]

L. C.