Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clowes, Butler

CLOWES, BUTLER (d. 1782), mezzotint-engraver and printseller, lived in Gutter Lane, Cheapside, where he kept a print-shop, his address appearing on engravings by James Watson and others. He scraped several portraits in mezzotint, usually from the life, some of which he sent to the exhibitions of the Free Society of Artists from 1768 to 1773. Among these portraits, which show some artistic ability, were those of himself, his wife, John Augustus Clowes, John Glas (founder of the Glassite, or Sandemanian, sect), Nathan Potts, Mrs. Luke Sullivan, after Tilly Kettle, and Charles Dibdin as Mungo in the opera of the 'Padlock.' He also engraved in mezzotint, after Philip Dawe, 'The Hen-pecked Husband' and 'The Dying Usurer,' both exhibited in 1768; after John Collet, 'A Rescue, or the Tars Triumphant,' 'Grown Gentlemen taught to dance,' and 'The Female Bruisers,' exhibited in 1771; after Heemskerk, and Stubbs, and a print entitled 'Domestic Employment Starching,' probably after Henry Morland. He died in 1782. An etched portrait of Clowes, published by S. Harding, Pall Mall, in 1802, shows a man past the prime of life, with a round, jovial, and doubtless rubicund countenance. The general tone of his prints and the character of his associates tend to support the idea that he was of a free and lively disposition. He does not appear to have been a painter himself.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of English Artists; Graves's Dictionary of Artists, 1760-1880; Catalogues of the Free Society of Artists; J. Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotint Portraits; Bromley's Catalogue of British Portraits; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon; Collectanea Biographica (Anderdon) in the Print Room, British Museum.]

L. C.