John Baptist Jackson: A British Printmaker in Venice

Presented by Dr Tico Seifert, Senior Curator, Scottish National Gallery

The national collection includes a spectacular set of chiaroscuro woodcuts by the British printmaker John Baptist Jackson (c.1700-in or after 1773). Despite being one of the most innovative printmakers of chiaroscuro woodcuts, Jackson is still little-known. He trained in London and Paris and reached Venice in 1731, where he became acquainted with Consul Joseph Smith, the British banker, entrepreneur and collector. Smith encouraged Jackson to embark on this unique ‘tour de force’ which he also funded, partly by subscription.

This presentation analyses the works by Jackson in the national collection and, for the first time, tries to identify the dedicatees (each print is dedicated to a different person), investigate their potential links with the artworks depicted, and hence tries to reconstruct Jackson’s (and Smith’s) personal and professional networks in Venice and beyond.

Dr Tico Seifert is a Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery.  He received his PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin (FU), where, from 2003, he continued to teach art history until he was appointed Senior Curator of Northern European Art at the Scottish National Gallery in 2008.

The national collection includes a spectacular set of chiaroscuro woodcuts by the British printmaker John Baptist Jackson (c.1700-in or after 1773). Despite being one of the most innovative printmakers of chiaroscuro woodcuts, Jackson is still little-known. This presentation by senior curator Dr Tico Seifert analyses the works by Jackson in the national collection and, for the first time, tries to identify the dedicatees (each print is dedicated to a different person), investigate their potential links with the artworks depicted, and hence tries to reconstruct Jackson’s (and Smith’s) personal and professional networks in Venice and beyond.

[Duration 24:25]