Publisher: London: Published by W. Sharp, April 20, 1793.
Condition: Margins slightly trimmed, but not affecting the image or imprint; paper a little browned; very good copy.
Book ID: 27416
DescriptionOriginal copper engraving, 29 x 22.5 cm, of a portrait of Thomas Paine by English portrait artist George Romney.
CommentsA famous and often reprinted portrait of Thomas Paine by George Romney, handsomely engraved by William Sharp. The sitting for Romney was arranged by Paine's friend Clio Rickman, who wrote that it was "perhaps the greatest likeness ever taken by any painter." "It showed Paine's long face, his characteristic aquiline nose, and his deep-set eyes, more alive than in any previous or subsequent portrait or sketch" - John Keane, Thomas Paine, page 341. Paine sat for this portrait at the apex of the controversy over the Rights of Man, and it was followed soon by his exile to France. In the image to the right of Paine are two books, Common Sense and the Rights of Man. Sharpe's engraving of Romney's portrait is one of the most famous of his distinguished career.