Mathias, in his ‘Pursuits of Literature,’ was no less inimical. Southey, who succeeded Pye as poet laureate, wrote, on 24 Dec. 1814, ‘I have been rhyming as doggedly and dully as if my name had been Henry James Pye’ (Corresp. chap. xix.)
Besides the works enumerated, Pye issued a respectable translation of Bürger's ‘Lenore’ (1795), and two works of fiction, ‘interspersed with anecdotes of well-known characters,’ respectively entitled ‘The Democrat’ (1795), 2 vols., and ‘The Aristocrat’ (1799), 2 vols. He revised Francis's ‘Odes of Horace’ in 1812, and a copy of Sir James Bland Burges's ‘Richard I,’ with manuscript notes and emendations by Pye, is in the British Museum.
[Lives of the Laureates, by W. S. Austin and John Ralph, 1853, pp. 332–45; Walter Hamilton's Poets Laureate, pp. 202, &c.; Chalmers's Dictionary; Gent. Mag. 1813, ii. 293–4; Burke's Landed Gentry.]
PYE, JOHN (fl. 1774), engraver, was a pupil of Thomas Major [q. v.], and in 1758 won a Society of Arts premium. He engraved in the line manner some admirable landscape plates, which were published by Boydell in 1773–5. These include ‘Europa Point, Gibraltar,’ after A. Pynacker; ‘Hagar directed by the Angel to the Well,’ after Swanevelt; ‘A Shipwreck,’ after J. Vernet; ‘Tobias and the Angel,’ after Dujardin; ‘Holy Family,’ after Poelemburg; ‘The Waders,’ after Claude; and ‘The Tempest’ and ‘The Calm,’ after Dietzsch. Pye probably died young.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon.]
PYE, JOHN (1782–1874), landscape engraver, second son of Charles Pye of Birmingham, was born there on 7 Nov. 1782; his mother was a daughter of John Radclyffe, also of Birmingham, and aunt of William Radclyffe [q. v.], the engraver. Charles Pye, in the expectation of succeeding to a fortune, had indulged a taste for literature and numismatics, and when his prospects were destroyed as the result of a lawsuit he had recourse to his pen to maintain his family. He published an account of Birmingham, a geographical dictionary, and several series of plates of provincial coins and tokens engraved by himself, with the assistance of his son John. The latter was removed from school when still a child, and received his first instruction in engraving from his father; later he was a pupil of Joseph Barber, a well-known Birmingham teacher, and was then apprenticed to a plate-engraver named Tolley. In 1801 he came to London with his cousin, William Radclyffe, and became a paid assistant of James Heath (1757–1834) [q. v.], to whom his elder brother was articled, and by whom he was employed on works of natural history and in engraving the backgrounds of book illustrations. In 1805 Pye was entrusted by Heath with the execution of a plate of Inverary Castle, from a drawing by J. M. W. Turner [q. v.], and thus first came under the influence of that painter's genius. In 1810 John Britton [q. v.], who was then publishing his work, ‘The Fine Arts of the English School,’ commissioned Pye to engrave for it Turner's picture, ‘Pope's Villa at Twickenham,’ and the plate was so warmly approved of by the painter that from that time Pye became his favourite engraver. Pye's plates after Turner include ‘High Street, Oxford’ (figures by C. Heath), 1812; ‘View of Oxford from the Abingdon Road’ (figures by C. Heath), 1818; ‘The Rialto, Venice,’ ‘La Riccia,’ and ‘Lake of Nemi’ (for Hakewill's ‘Tour in Italy,’ 1818); ‘Junction of the Greta and Tees,’ ‘Wycliffe, near Rokeby,’ and ‘Hardraw Fall’ (for Whitaker's ‘Richmondshire,’ 1823); ‘Temple of Jupiter in the Island of Ægina,’ 1827; ‘Tivoli’ and ‘Pæstum’ (for Rogers's ‘Italy,’ 1830); and ‘Ehrenbreitstein,’ 1845. These remarkable works, in which for the first time the effects of light and atmosphere were adequately rendered, placed Pye at the head of his profession, and entitle him to be regarded as the founder of the modern school of landscape engraving. Among his other large plates are ‘Cliefden on the Thames,’ after J. Glover, 1816; ‘All that remains of the Glory of William Smith,’ after E. Landseer, 1836; ‘Light Breeze off Dover,’ after A. W. Callcott, 1839; and ‘Temple of the Sun, Baalbec,’ after D. Roberts, 1849.
Throughout his career Pye was largely engaged upon illustrations to the then popular annuals and pocket-books, and of these the ‘Ehrenbreitstein,’ after Turner (in the ‘Literary Souvenir,’ 1828), and ‘The Sunset,’ after G. Barret (in the ‘Amulet’), are the best examples. He engraved the entire series of headpieces from drawings by W. Havell, S. Prout, G. Cuitt, and others, which appeared in the ‘Royal Repository, or Picturesque Pocket Diary,’ 1817–39; ‘Le Souvenir, or Pocket Tablet,’ 1822–43; and ‘Peacock's Polite Repository,’ 1813–58; of these a complete set of impressions, formed by Pye himself, was presented by his daughter to the British Museum in 1882. In 1830, at the request of John Sheepshanks [q. v.], Pye undertook the publication of a series of fine engravings from pictures in the National Gallery, and in the course of the following ten