- Timothy Clayton
- and Anita McConnell
Jukes, Francis (1745–1812), aquatint engraver, was born at Martley, Worcestershire, of unknown parentage. Specializing at first as a topographical painter, probably in watercolours, he was one of the first English artists to exploit the newly discovered method of aquatint engraving. In 1775 he exhibited with the Society of Artists two aquatints of stormy landscapes that he had engraved the previous year and that had been published by William Wynne Ryland that January. Jukes is said to have learned the method from Paul Sandby who got it from Charles Greville who got it from France. Some of Jukes's early aquatints reproduced drawings by Sandby and one pair of elevations of Somerset House (1777) was executed under Sandby's supervision. Subsequently both Sandby and Jukes developed the potential of aquatint as a means of reproducing drawings with colour washes, and Jukes became a most renowned and prolific exponent of this art over the next thirty years. Sometimes he added an aquatint ground to a plate etched by another artist, most famously to Vauxhall (1785) after Thomas Rowlandson, where he collaborated with Robert Pollard. He aquatinted a number of other caricatures, as well as sporting prints and literary or genre subjects, but for the most part he produced landscapes or seascapes. His sporting and livestock prints included Charles Ansell's Life and Death of a Race Horse (1784), The Pytchley Hunt (1790–91) after Charles Loraine Smith, and several animals after John Boultbee, including portraits of a ram and a ewe of the new Leicestershire breed (1802). He was a prolific aquatinter of ships in storms and naval engagements and he engraved and published many maritime and coastal views as well as picturesque landscapes of the kind popularized by the Revd William Gilpin, whose Observations on the River Wye (1782) was illustrated by Jukes. His topographical views include some important early records of colonial settlements. His large oval aquatints of Cape Town (1794) after Alexander Callender are among the finest early views of South Africa, and he also produced prints of New York (1800) and Sydney Cove, New South Wales (1804).
Jukes published his early prints in partnership with Valentine Green, who also came from Worcestershire, and together they issued a series of large aquatints of ruins in the Welsh borders, cathedrals, and other scenes. His obituarist's remark that Jukes's hopes of establishing a trade with Basel were dashed by the French Revolutionary Wars suggests that, like Green, Jukes was exporting prints to Chrétien de Mêchel, the leading printseller in Switzerland, who was ruined by the French invasion. He also collaborated in a number of projects with Robert Pollard, notably in some fine views of elegant developments in London such as Hanover Square (1787). Jukes appears never to have achieved the prosperity that his application merited. He lived for over twenty years in Howland Street, Westminster, before moving to nearby Upper John Street, where he published in partnership as Jukes and Sarjent. A lifetime of inhaling the fumes given off by the strong acid with which he pursued his craft made him ill. He died in 1812, probably in March.
- Dodd's history of English engravers, BL, Add. MS 33402, fol. 176, ‘Francis Jukes’
- C. Le Blanc, Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, 2 (Paris, 1855–6), 438–9
- GM, 1st ser., 82/1 (1812), 300
- J. R. Abbey, Scenery of Great Britain and Ireland, 1770–1860 (1952)
- J. R. Abbey, Life in England in aquatint and lithography, 1770–1860 (privately printed, London, 1953)
- J. R. Abbey, Travel, 1770–1860, 2 vols. (1956)
- F. G. Stephens and M. D. George, eds., Catalogue of political and personal satires preserved … in the British Museum, 5–11 (1935–54)
- D. Snelgrove, British sporting and animal prints, 1658–1874 (1981)
- ‘Catalogue of prints and drawings’, www.nmm.ac.uk, 7 May 2001
- Library of Birmingham, letters to Boulton family