Caroline Watson (1761?–1814) was an English stipple engraver.


The daughter of the Irish engraver James Watson, she was born in London in 1760 or 1761, and studied under her father, who worked in mezzotint.[1] She was known for her skilled worked in the stipple method, was particularly known for reproductions of miniatures, and was the only woman engraver to serve as an independent engraver in the British 18th century.[2] She came to prominence as an engraver at about the same time as women began to make up a significant proportion print consumers.[3] Her career began to wind down after 1810 due to ill health, and she died at Pimlico on 10 June 1814.[2]


John Jeffries, portrait engraving by Caroline Watson

Watson's plates were numerous. In 1784 she engraved a portrait of Prince William of Gloucester, after Joshua Reynolds, and in 1785 a pair of small plates of the Princesses Sophia and Mary, after John Hoppner, which she dedicated to Queen Charlotte. She was then appointed engraver to Queen. She engraved portraits of:[1]

Other works were:[1]

Watson also executed a set of aquatints of the Progress of Female Virtue and Female Dissipation, from designs by Maria Cosway. She engraved several pictures belonging to the Marquess of Bute.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Watson, James (1739?-1790)" . Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ a b Dictionary of women artists. Gaze, Delia. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. 1997. ISBN 1884964214. OCLC 37693713.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Exhibition | Caroline Watson and Female Printmaking". Enfilade. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  4. ^ Vesely, S. A. (1998). "The Daughters of Eighteenth-Century Science: A Rationalist and Materialist Context for William Blake's Female Figures". Colby Library Quarterly. 34: 5–24. ProQuest 1290125137.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Watson, James (1739?-1790)". Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co.