|Description: A framed engraving entitled "Credendo di Saettare una Belva Silvio feri Dorinda Miseramenta Access di Lui". The image depicts a wounded woman (Dorinda) being supported by an older servant (Linco) and a young hunter (Silvio) holding a bow and arrow in one hand and exposing his breast with his other hand. The lower band of the image is plain and contains Italian script with the title, artist name, designer, original artist, and play that image scene depicts. There is also a quote (?) possibly from the original play, "Pastor Fido Atto IV Scena IX". The top proper left hand corner has the artist name "Pietro Bonato Veneto Bassanesa incise in Roma 1806". The frame is a dull gold colour with a decorative boarder of acanthus leaves which have a white washed patina that highlights the design. The engraving is covered with glass.
A Roman copper plate engraving entitled _Silvia Finding Dorinda Wounded_, 1806, by Pietro Bonata Veneto Bassanese after an oil painting by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (called Guercino) 1591-1666.Silvio and Dorinda were a pair of lovers from the pastoral Baroque play "Il Pastor Fido", "The Faithful Shepherd", by the Italian poet Guarini (1538-1612) written in 1626. Dorinda, disguised as a shepherd and wearing a wolf's skin, was accidentally shot by Silvio when he was out hunting. The subject shows Dorinda lying in the arms of the old servant Linco. Silvio kneels beside her, offering an arrow to Linco, at the same time baring his breast, since he has no further wish to live. Dorinda survives to live happily ever after with Silvio. This subject was also painted by Pieter van Lint, Antwerp, c. 1650 which is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. John Skynner (1762-1846) was born in England in 1762. His family had a strong connection with the Royal Navy with both his father and grandfather serving as high ranking officers. John would follow in this tradition with a distinguished naval career. Little is known of Skynner outside of his naval accomplishments. From "O’Byrne’s Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849" we have a clear record of his rise through the Royal Navy. The dictionary states that Skynner joined the Navy in 1795 as an Able Bodied Seaman. He quickly moved through the ranks serving as a Midshipman and Master’s Mate in the Mediterranean.During the time he served in the Mediterranean, he was present for the evacuation of Corsica (1796) and saw action near Cape St. Vincent (1797). He continued to serve on the Ville De Paris and Isis and then became the Acting Lieutenant on the Nemesis. He became a full Lieutenant on March 8th, 1802 for the Amazon. While in command of the Amazon, he brought the Duke of Kent to England from Gibraltar and then returned to the Mediterranean. His daughter recalls him telling stories of the Duke walking with him on deck during this voyage. The Duke of Kent was the father of Queen Victoria. Skynner also held command of the gun-bring Hirondelle from June 19th, 1804 until December 14th, 1807.Lieutenant John Skynner was presented with a piece of plate (silver cup) given by the Merchants and others residing in the Island of Malta as a token of respect for his very meritorious conduct and unremitted attention to the numerous convoys under his charge while in the Mediterranean. He was listed as a retired Commander on April 10th, 1838.
Details of his personal life are few. He married a woman named Joanna who was 22 years younger then himself. They had six children, four boys and two girls. The oldest child, John, was born in 1816 when John was 54 years old. It can be assumed that John must have started his family some time after 1807 when details of his active Navy career end. Perhaps he returned to England and felt he was secure enough to support a wife and family. After his retirement in 1838 at the age of 76, he emigrated to Upper Canada. His reasons for emigrating so late in life are not clear although it was not uncommon for retired officers to resettle in the colonies wher|