Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dawe, Philip

DAWE, PHILIP (fl. 1780), mezzotint engraver, son of a city merchant, was articled to Henry Robert Morland. Thus he became the companion and friend of George Morland, the more famous son of that artist, but he did not, as Redgrave states, ‘write his life.’ Morland's life was written by Philip's son, George Dawe [q. v.], and published in 1807. About 1760 he worked, it is said, under Hogarth, and at that same time unsuccessfully competed at the Society of Arts for the best historical painting. In 1761 he exhibited some humorous subjects at the Society of Artists, and contributed to the first exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1763. He painted ‘The Cavern Scene in Macbeth,’ ‘Captain Bobadil Cudgelled,’ and ‘The Drunkard reproving his Disorderly Family.’ Redgrave states that he engraved plates after Reynolds. There are also mezzotints by him after his master, Henry Morland, and after Gainsborough and Romney. He is commonly stated to have died about 1780. There are, however, letters to him from George Morland dated as late as October 1785.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; George Dawe's Life of George Morland, 1807; Arnold's Library of the Fine Arts, i. 17–19, contains an account of George Dawe, with a reference to his father.]

E. R.