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I sleworth, Middlesex, in 1869, He was educated at Margate and Hereford. Whilst still a child, he astonished his parents by the wonderful facility with which he drew any natural object that attracted his attention. His father, delighted with this evidence of his sons abnormal artistic endowments, consulted Mr. Henry Graves, the well-known publisher, of...
I sleworth, Middlesex, in 1869, He was educated at Margate and Hereford. Whilst still a child, he astonished his parents by the wonderful facility with which he drew any natural object that attracted his attention. His father, delighted with this evidence of his sons abnormal artistic endowments, consulted Mr. Henry Graves, the well-known publisher, of Pall Mall, who advised his being apprenticed as an engraver to Mr. A. C. A lais, Not being satisfied with this opinion, he consulted other publishers, and was strongly advised to apprentice his son to Mr, Joseph B. Pratt, then one of the most promising mezzotinters. This was done, and he entered Mr. Pratt sstudio at the age of fifteen. After serving his full time, he remained as assistant to Mr. Pratt for seventeen years. This proved a valuable training for the young engraver, as he worked with his master upon the finest plates of the day ,and to this must be attributed the full development of the powers which have placed Mr. Wilson in the front rank of his contemporaries. Wishing, at this period, to work independently, and to assert his personality as an artist, he, for over a year, endeavoured to obtain a commission, but without success. Eventually, as a last resource, he called upon Messrs. Vicars Brothers, of Old Bond Street, who did their best to help him. Not then being publishers themselves, they sent him with strong letters of recommendation to three of the leading publishing firms, but with no result,- though two of these firms had previously expressed to Messrs. Vicars their willingness to commission him. Mr. Wilson naturally returned to Messrs. Vicars very disheartened,- and they, sympathising with him in his difficulty, gave him a commission to engrave Lady Hamilton as Nature, after Geo. Romney. When published, this plate was a phenomenal success,- the whole issue of proofs in colour being sold in (Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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