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After Philippe Mercier (1689-1760)

A self-portrait of Philip Mercier dated 1735

Mezzotint | 35.1 x 25.4 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 658761

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Philip Mercier was Principal Painter and Librarian to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and his self-portrait shows him palette in hand and with bookshelves behind to allude to these two offices. But this print may have been issued in an attempt to bolster Mercier's position: in 1735, the year of its publication, Frederick was sitting to other portraitists, there were rumours of a quarrel between prince and painter, and the following year Mercier left his service.