UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Richard Josey, 1840-1906

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1840.09/12
Place of Birth: Reading
Date of Death: 1906.02
Place of Death:

Identity:

Richard Josey was a reproductive engraver. He married Elizabeth Croxon in 1864. The Joseys had a large family including a son, Maurice who became a well-known mosaic artist.

Life:

After the completion of his apprenticeship with Thomas W. Knight, Josey worked in the studio of the Chevalier Ballin. Later he worked for the firm of Henry Graves & Co. for many years. He also exhibited his work at the Royal Academy. In the late 1870s Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) and Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203) were all engraved by Josey. JW described Josey's 1879 reproduction of Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203) as 'fine - but scarcely as rich as I expected'. He felt the head in particular to be rather 'hard' and wondered whether Josey would 'soften it a little by burnishing slightly the modelling and doing away ever so little with the lines' (#02860). There were problems also with Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137). The plate would not stand the three hundred proofs that were to be printed from it, and Josey had to be called in to go over it again, after the steel facing was removed and ruined the ground. After every seventy proofs printed Josey had to work on the plate to bring it back into a fit state.

Bibliography:

Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Johnson, J., & Gruetzner, A., Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; information from family descendants.