Wilson Online Reference
Robert Sayer, 1725-1794
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Robert Sayer was a print, map and chart publisher who was born in Sunderland. Sayer became a freeman of the Stationers' Company by redemption on 6 September 1748. In the 1750s London was fast becoming the centre of the European print trade and Sayer catered for the explosion of interest in topographical views of English scenery, houses and gardens and played a central role in the distribution and publication of design books disseminating architectural and decorative ideas to a large public. He published a number of prints after Wilson, including a mezzotint by Richard Earlom, Meleager and Atalanta, in September 1771 (E23 & other impressions), of which he owned the original painting (P163). On this he employed the rising young history painter, John Hamilton Mortimer, to repaint Wilson's figures, to the latter's displeasure. Mortimer was also employed by Sayer to repaint the figures in a version of Wilson's Apollo and the Seasons (P164A) which he published as a mezzotint by Earlom in 1772 (E24 & other impressions) and in 1779 as a line engraving by William Woollett and Benjamin Pouncy (E47 & other impressions).
Patronage of Works
P163 Meleager and Atalanta, Tate, London
P164A Apollo and the Seasons, Indianapolis Museum of Art