Lupton was a prominent mezzotint engraver of the 1800s and was regularly employed by JMW Turner, John Ruskin and other prominent artists to engrave and create mezzotints of their works for mass production. Ruskin called him an ‘excellent engraver’ and ‘man of genius’, and described him as a ‘dear old friend and master of etching’.
Lupton was from London, the son of a goldsmith and lived for most of his life in Bloomsbury. As an apprentice, he was taught to engrave in mezzotint by George Clint, another of JMW Turner’s preferred engravers, and became a specialist in creating mezzotints on steel plates (rather than copper which was usual). In 1822 he received the Isis Gold Medal from the Society of Arts for the development and use of this new method of engraving. In his twenties, Lupton also displayed pastel drawings at the Royal Academy of Art in London, and one of his sons became a painter.