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Samuel Butler (1613-1680)


Artist: David Loggan

Head and shoulders wearing a lawn collar
plumbago on vellum in contemporary gold frame with spiral cresting

Butler was a poet and satirist, best known for Hydibras a mock heroic poem against religious sectarianism published in the wake of the English Civil War

The young David first studied in Danzig under Willem Hondius, and later in Amsterdam under Crispijn van de Passe II. He moved to London in the late 1650s. There he produced various engravings, among them the title-page for the folio Book of Common Prayer (1662). In addition, he also did a number of miniature portraits as plumbago drawings.

He married in 1663, and in 1665 they moved from London to Nuffield, Oxfordshire, to avoid the Great Plague epidemic. In 1669, Loggan was appointed 'public sculptor' to the University of Oxford. Then he proceeded to draw and engrave all the Oxford colleges in bird's-eye views. His folio Oxonia illustrata was published in 1675.

In 1675 Loggan was naturalized as an English citizen. That year he once again settled in London, living in Leicester Fields, where he let rooms to aristocratic patrons and acted as their agent in the acquisition of works of art.

From 1676 he was involved in preparing the new folio Cantabrigia illustrata, which was eventually published in 1690. In that year he was made engraver to Cambridge University.
More Information
Provenance                 Dr. J.L. Propert
Henry Yates Thompson, 19 Portman Square, his sale July 2, 1941, lot 126
Christie's, London, November 28, 1985
Literature                 Dr. George Charles Williamson, 1897, Portrait miniatures from the time of Holbein, 1531, to that of Sir William Ross, 1860. A handbook for collectors p. 154
Dr. George Charles Williamson, English Miniature Painters of the 17th century, p. 152
Exhibition                 Burlington Fine Arts Club Exhibition, 1865, Case XXXIV., No. 36
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