James Mitan

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James Mitan (1776 – 1822) was an English engraver.

Life[edit]

He was born in London on 13 February 1776, and educated at an academy in Soho. In 1790 he was articled to a writing engraver named Vincent; but obtained instruction from J. S. Agar, studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, and made copies of Francesco Bartolozzi's tickets.[1]

Mitan died of paralysis in Warren Street, Fitzroy Square, London, on 16 August 1822, leaving a wife and family.[1]

Works[edit]

Mitan became a line engraver, mainly of book illustrations; he usually worked for other engravers, so that plates bearing his name are not numerous. He worked on:[1]

A set of fifty-six small plates of natural history engraved by Mitan, perhaps from his own designs, was published in 1822. Between 1802 and 1805 he exhibited at the Royal Academy a series of compositions illustrating George Moore's gothic novel Theodosius de Zulvin, and in 1818 a design for a national memorial of the battle of Waterloo. In 1818 he also made a design, eighteen feet long, for a chain bridge over the River Mersey. Mitan worked for the Admiralty and the Freemasons. A plate of Charles Robert Leslie's 'Anne Page and Slender,' which Mitan left unfinished, was completed by Francis Engleheart and published in 1823.[1]

Family[edit]

Artillery at the Battle of Waterloo, engraving by Samuel Mitan after George Jones

Samuel Mitan (1786–1843) was the brother and pupil of James Mitan, and engraver in the same style. He made plates for Robert Batty's French Scenery, 1822, and was employed by Rudolph Ackermann. He became a member of the Artists' Annuity Fund in 1810, and died at the Polygon, Somers Town, 3 June 1843.[1]

While the Dictionary of National Biography states that nothing is known of his family, it appears that James & Samuel (with sisters Maria & Frances) were children of (Tobias) William Mitan (1744-1809) & Elizabeth (née Jenison) (c.1749-1813) and were a quite prominent Catholic family. Tobias' father William (c.1720-1802) was probably born in Yorkshire.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1894). "Mitan, James". Dictionary of National Biography 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1894). "Mitan, James". Dictionary of National Biography 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co.