Biography of Pine, John

Original Copperplate engraving by engraver and print seller, John Pine (1691 - 1756)
These illustrations for Vergil’s Poems were published in London circa 1774
John Pine, (born 1690—died May 4, 1756), English engraver who published a number of notable illustrated books.
It is not known where Pine learned his art, although he may have studied under the Frenchman Bernard Picart. He operated a printshop in London and thus was able to publish books illustrated with his own engravings. His first important publication, which is also one of the finest examples of his work, was a group of engravings of the ceremonies attending King George I’s establishment of the Order of the Bath (1725). His other productions include a copy of the Magna Carta an edition of Horace and a part of one of Virgil, copies of the tapestries celebrating the defeat of the Spanish Armada and hanging in the House of Lords and several maps of London.
In 1749 his friend William Hogarth depicted him as the friar in his painting The Gate of Calais, and from that date Pine was known, to his considerable irritation, as Friar or Father Pine. In 1755 he and a number of other English artists formed a committee to found a royal academy, but he died 12 years before the plans became a reality. From 1743 until his death he was Blue Mantle Pursuivant in the Herald’s College and he lived there during the last years of his life. His two sons, Robert Edge Pine and Simon Pine, were both painters.