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Charles Heath

1784 – 1848

Apollo as a Warrior by Charles Heath

Apollo as a Warrior   1804

  Original pen lithograph.
Signed on the stone.
Ref: Man 104
S & I 344 x 252 mm
Original Charles Heath pen lithograph.

Rare early pen lithograph, as first published in the second issue of Specimens of Polyautography, issued by G.J. Vollweiler in 1806.

Apollo as a Warrior is one of a number of original pen lithographs which Charles Heath made soon after the process had been invented. It was published by G.J. Vollweiler, who had taken over the rights to the lithographic process from Philipp André.

Lithography, originally called Polyautography or Chemical Printing, had been invented by Aloys Senefelder, a Bavarian, by the year 1798 but it was not until 1801 that he began to explore the possibilities of the medium in the field of graphic art. Senefelder had come to England in the previous year, with Philipp André, the brother of his commercial partner, to obtain a patent for his new invention and establish a lithographic printing press in this country. It was André who approached a number of the finest artists in London at the time to produce drawings on stone for a projected publication. Only twelve of these drawings were used in the first the set in 1803, although it had been André’s intention to publish six issues containing six prints each. However, this project was not brought to fruition until 1806-7 when J.G. Vollweiler, who took over the rights to the process from André, re-issued the original twelve prints along with twenty-four new subjects of which Apollo as a Warrior was one.

Charles Heath was a highly enterprising artist and printmaker who went on to be enormously successful as a line engraver, especially for book illustration. In 1827 Charles Heath started his own immensely successful publication, The Keepsake, an annual for which he commissioned paintings for engraving by the most eminent artists of the day.

On cream wove paper with unidentified watermark. Tape stains at edges of sheet, various other minor defects to sheet. Requires conservation (the price reflects this point).