Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.23
Object Name Engraving
Title Engraving with Portrait of John Fothergill
Artist Unknown
Date 1782
Description Oval, frontal portrait bust of John Fothergill in center with "JOHN FOTHERGILL. MD.F.R.S." outside bottom perimeter. Signed "Rd. Livesay pincr" and "F. Bartolozzi sculp" along bottom perimeter. At bottom in script: "Cui suas artes, sua dona laetus Et herbam et Venae salientis ictum Scire concessit, celerem et medendi Delius usum." "From a Bust in the Possession of Dr. Lettsom" at bottom. In gilt, wooden frame under glass.
Label John Fothergill, elected to the APS in 1770, was a British physician, naturalist, and philanthropist. A Quaker and London physician, he published widely on medical topics, including an essay that offered the first accurate description of diphtheria. He was an acquaintance of many eminent figures who shared his passion for natural science, including Peter Collinson, John Bartram, and Benjamin Franklin. Upon Fothergill’s death in 1780 Franklin remarked that "I think a worthier man never lived." This image of Fothergill first appeared in the 1784 publication of his works by John Coakely Lettsom, a protégé of Fothergill. Lettsom owned a bust of Fothergill that was turned into a painting by a Richard Livesay and then engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi for the publication. The Latin phrase below the image is also from Lettsom’s publication, apparently an alteration of a phrase originating from British Latin poet Anthony Alsop, who died in 1726. The APS holds some letters of John Fothergill.
Medium Engraving
Dimensions H-7.75 W-5.625 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society
Search Terms 18th century
eighteenth century