Caroline Watson & Female Printmaking in England


Published in 2014 by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge on the occasion of the exhibition of the same title, 23 September 2014 – 4 January 2015. Written by David Alexander, Honorary Keeper of British Prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

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Caroline Watson, who died in 1814, can be seen as the first professional woman engraver, in the sense that she worked independently rather than as a member of a family of engravers. Over a career of thirty years she engraved more than a hundred very delicate prints in the stipple, or dotted manner, which was particularly suited for reproducing miniature portraits. The catalogue, which contains a chronological list of her prints, puts her in the context of the female printmaking of her time, and shows how exceptional was her achievement in a male dominated profession. The catalogue carries a transcription of sixteen letters written to her last major employer, William Hayley, which throws much light on the working methods of engravers in general.

Additional information

Dimensions 21 x 28 cm



Extent (pages)


The Fitzwilliam Museum