William Sharp (1749-1824), Engraver
Sitter in 2 portraits
Artist associated with 72 portraits
One of England's most heralded engravers of the late eighteenth century, William Sharp began his career as an engraver of pewter pots and tankards. From 1771, he studied at the Royal Academy schools, after which he set himself up as a line engraver. Sharp's reputation was made with his engraving, Alfred the Great Dividing his Loaf with the Pilgrim, after Benjamin West and published by Boydell in 1782. One of the eighteenth century's most accomplished line engravers, Sharp excelled at portraits and allegorical and historical scenes based upon the designs of such contemporary British painters as West, Sir Joshua Reynolds and George Romney.