Magnificent and Rare Collection of Mezzotints Acquired by the Art Fund for the British Museum

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LONDON.- The Art Fund has helped the British Museum acquire a magnificent and rare collection of prints dating from the 1680s to the 19th century that give valuable insight into scarcely recorded aspects of British life. Comprising 7,250 prints that chart social history up until the First World War, the collection includes rare 17th century mezzotints called ‘drolls’ which recorded semi-popular British culture and visual iconography. It also includes 18th and 19th century portrait and subject prints along with the Northumberland album – an intact album of satires on fashion and other topical subjects assembled by the Duchess of Northumberland in the 1770s. In the late 18th century, British printmaking became one of the UK’s greatest exports and an essential element of Continental Anglomania. Mezzotint is a copperplate