- Also known as
primary name: Lodge, William
- individual; painter/draughtsman; printmaker; British; Male
- Life dates
- Topographical draughtsman and etcher. Both his parents came from prosperous families of Leeds merchants in the cloth trade. He went to Jesus College, Cambridge, and then studied law at Lincoln's Inn in London, but on inheriting an income of £300 a year had no further need to earn a living. He took up painting, drawing and etching as an amateur at Cambridge. In 1670 he accompanied Thomas Belasyse, Lord Fauconberg, the new ambassador to Venice, and remained in Italy for two years. After his return he published a translation of Giacomo Barri's guidebook under the title The Painter's voyage of Italy, 1679, which he illustrated with his own etchings of artists' portraits.
In the mid 1670s he met members of the circle of 'virtuosi' in York, and one of these acquaintances, Mr Bolter of York, later gave Vertue an account of his life (I 74-5). Vertue was given another account (I 119-21) by Ralph Thoresby of Leeds, whose wife was a relation of Lodge's (he always refers to Lodge as 'cousin' in his diary). Lodge was a close friend of Francis Place, with whom he made a sketching tour in Wales in 1678 at the height of the Popish Plot fever, and both were arrested as Jesuit spies.
He died young, and his prints have never been investigated since the list of fifteen that Thoresby gave Vertue. Among those in the BM are a pair of views of York, dated 1678; a titlepage for a 'Book of divers prospects done after the life', though its contents are unclear; and miscellaneous views in Italy, London and near York. Some of these were published by Pierce Tempest. He also etched various plates of shells to illustrate papers by Martin Lister in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions. Perhaps surprisingly he never made a mezzotint.
- Croft-Murray 1960
DNB (by Antony Griffiths)
Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', BM 1998 pp.253-4
K. Sloan, 'A Noble Art: Drawing Masters and Amateurs, 1600-1800', BM 2000, pp. 38-9