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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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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 ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Asia Haut

Brooke, Henry (1738–1806), history painter, was born in co. Cavan, Ireland, in November 1738 and baptized that month at St Paul's Church, Dublin, one of the five children (there were four sons and one daughter) of Robert Brooke, artist, and his wife, Honor Brooke...

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Browne [Brown], Robert (bap. 1672, d. 1753), history painter, the son of John and Diana Browne, was baptized in the parish church of Ottery St Mary, Devon, on 19 May 1672. By 1712 he was a student at Kneller's academy in Great Queen Street, London...

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Chisholm, Alexander (bap. 1792, d. 1847), portrait and historical painter, was born at Elgin, in Moray, and baptized there on 14 August 1792, the son of John Chisholm, a tanner, and his wife, Margaret Bowie. He was brought up as a weaver and was sent to ...

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L. H. Cust

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Clay, Alfred Borron (1831–1868), historical genre painter, was born on 3 June 1831 at Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, the second son of John Clay (1796–1858), chaplain of Preston gaol, and his wife, Henrietta Fielding (d. 1858). He was educated at the grammar school in ...

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Closterman, John (1660–1711), history and portrait painter, was born in Osnabrück, a prince-bishopric in north Germany, from 1648 ruled alternately by a Roman Catholic bishop and a Hanoverian Lutheran prince. 'Mr. Tiburing', a fellow townsman, gave George Vertue Closterman's place and year of birth (...

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Cope, Charles West (1811–1890), history painter, was born on 28 July 1811 in Park Square, Leeds. His father, Charles Cope (d. 1827), painted landscapes in watercolour; his mother was said to be a gifted amateur in the same medium. They named their children after eminent artists whom the father knew personally: ...

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Charles West Cope (1811–1890) self-portrait, 1879 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Cosway, Baroness Cosway in the nobility of the Austrian empire (1760–1838) by Valentine Green, pubd 1787 (after self-portrait) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cosway [née Hadfield], Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia, Baroness Cosway in the nobility of the Austrian empire (1760–1838), history painter and educationist, was born at her father's hotel, Hadfield's (or Carlo's), Lungarno Capponi, Florence, on 17 July 1760, the eldest of five surviving children of ...

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Cross, John (1819–1861), historical genre painter, was born at Tiverton, Devon, on 29 May 1819, the son of John Cross and his wife, Elizabeth. His father, foreman in Heathcoat's lace manufactory, moved the family to France when he became superintendent of a branch manufactory at ...

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See Danckerts [Danckers, Dankers, Danckertszoon], Hendrick

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George Dawe (1781–1829) self-portrait Collection of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa (B.042007)

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Dawe, George (1781–1829), history and portrait painter, was born on 6 February 1781 in Brewer Street, Golden Square, London, the son of Philip Dawe (1745?–1809?), a mezzotint engraver, and his wife, Jane (c.1752–1832). He was brought up in a creative family: his two younger brothers ...

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See Du Bois, Simon

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Duncan, Thomas (1807–1845), history and portrait painter, was born at Kinclaven, near Perth, on 4 May 1807, the third child of Samson Duncan (1767–1837), musician, and Janet Alexander (d. 1841). Duncan was educated at Perth Academy, where the drawing-master, David Junor, encouraged his interest in art and no doubt that of his schoolmate ...

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Durno, James (1755/6–1795), history painter and copyist, was born in England to a Scottish father, the proprietor of a brewery at Kensington Gravel Pits. According to the archives of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome, he was twenty-two in 1777. He was trained by ...

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Fuller, Isaac (1606/1620?–1672), portrait and history painter, is said to have been born in 1606 (Redgrave) but no evidence has emerged for this date and his apparent age in the self-portrait of 1670 (Bodleian Library, Oxford) suggests that a more plausible birth date may be about 1620. He was probably born in ...