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Armitage, Edward (1817–1896), history painter, was born on 20 May 1817 in Tavistock Square, London, and baptized on 4 June at St Pancras Old Church, Pancras Road, London. He was the eldest of the seven sons born to James Armitage (1793–1872) of Farnley...

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Edward Armitage (1817–1896) self-portrait, 1882 Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collections

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Artaud, William (1763–1823), portrait and history painter, was born in London on 24 March 1763, the son of Stephen Artaud, a Huguenot jeweller, and his wife, Elizabeth. He was awarded silver palettes by the Incorporated Society of Artists in 1775/6, 1777, and 1782, and from 1778 attended the ...

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William Artaud (1763–1823) self-portrait, c. 1822 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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James Barry (1741–1806) self-portrait, c. 1786 [completed 1803] by courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland

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Barry, James (1741–1806), history painter, printmaker, and author, was born on 11 October 1741, in a modest cottage in Water Lane in Blackpool, a suburb of Cork, to John Barry and Juliana Reardon. He was the eldest child in a family that grew to include three more sons, ...

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Bell, William (1734/5–1806?), portrait and history painter, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, the son of a bookbinder. On 30 January 1769 aged thirty-four, he enrolled as the first student in the Royal Academy Schools. He tried, unsuccessfully, to win the academy gold medal in 1770, but won it in the following year for his picture of ...

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Benazech, Charles [pseud. Frieselheim] (1767/8–1794), portrait and history painter, was born in London, the son of the engraver and draughtsman Peter Paul Benazech (1730?–1798). In 1782, at the age of fifteen, he went to Rome, and in October 1783 to Florence, where on 11 January 1784 he was elected to the ...

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Bewick, William (1795–1866), portrait and history painter, was born at Darlington, co. Durham, on 20 October 1795, the son of William Bewick (1759–1844), upholsterer, and Jane Roantree (d. 1843), a Quaker descended from a local family of linen manufacturers. After attending a local school he was apprenticed to his father and began experimenting with painting and drawing, receiving his first tuition from itinerant artists, later from the ...

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Bird, Edward (1772–1819), genre and history painter, was born in Cat Yard, Berry Street, Wolverhampton, on 12 April 1772 and baptized there the same day, one of the many children of a local carpenter (d. c.1810). After attending the free grammar school he was apprenticed at the age of thirteen as a japanning artist to the firm of ...