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Adam, Robert (1728–1792), architect, was born at Kirkcaldy in Fife on 3 July 1728, the second son of William Adam (bap. 1689, d. 1748), architect, and his wife, Mary Robertson (1699–1761), the daughter of William Robertson of Gladney. He was educated at the high school of ...

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Aikman, William, of Cairnie (1682–1731), portrait painter, was born on 24 October 1682 at Cairnie, Forfarshire, the second son and fifth child of William Aikman (1646–1699), laird of Cairnie and advocate, and his wife, Margaret Clerk (d. after 1729), daughter of John Clerk...

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Backwell, Edward (c. 1619–1683), goldsmith and banker, the son of Barnaby Backwell of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, a yeoman, was apprenticed in 1635 to Thomas Vyner, a leading goldsmith. He became free of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1651, of which he was to be prime warden in 1660....

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Beckford, William Thomas (1760–1844), writer and art collector, was born on 29 September 1760 at one of his father's houses, in Westminster or Fonthill, Wiltshire, and baptized at Fonthill on 6 January 1761, the only legitimate son of William Beckford (bap. 1709, d. 1770)...

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Bell, Andrew (1725/6–1809), engraver and publisher, was probably born in Edinburgh, the son of John Bell, a baker. He was apprenticed to Richard Cooper the elder and began his career modestly as an engraver of letters, names, and crests on plates and dog collars. One of his customers was the ...

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Blake, William (1757–1827), engraver, artist, and poet, was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street, Soho, London, the third son of James Blake (1723?–1784), a hosier, and his wife, Catherine, née Wright (1723–1792), the widow of Thomas Armitage. Blake had four brothers, ...

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Burges, William (1827–1881), architect and designer, was born on 2 December 1827, the eldest son of Elizabeth Green (d. 1855) and Alfred Burges (d. 1886), marine engineer. He was educated at King's College School, London, from 1839; there his near contemporaries included ...

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Butterfield, William (1814–1900), architect and designer, was born on 7 September 1814 in London, the second child and eldest son of William Butterfield (1783–1866), chemist and wharfinger, and his wife, Ann (1793–1867), the daughter of Robert Steven, a leather factor of the City of London...

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Chalon, Alfred Edward (1780–1860), portrait and subject painter, was born on 15 February 1780 at Geneva, Switzerland. His forebears were Huguenots who left France at the revocation of the edict of Nantes and settled in Geneva. Chalon's father, Jean Chalon, was a watchmaker who left ...

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Cowper, George Nassau Clavering, third Earl Cowper (1738–1789), art collector and patron, was born on 26 August 1738 and baptized on 17 September at St George's, Hanover Square, London. He was the only son and second child of William, second Earl Cowper (1709–1764)...

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Danby, Francis (1793–1861), landscape painter, was born on 16 November 1793 at Common, Killinick, near Wexford, Ireland, one of the twin sons among the three children of James Danby (d. 1807), a minor country gentleman, and his second wife, Margaret Watson of ...

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Du Maurier, George Louis Palmella Busson (1834–1896), illustrator, cartoonist, and novelist, was born on 6 March 1834 at 80 Champs Elysées, Paris, and baptized in May 1835 at Rotherfield, Sussex, the eldest of the three children of Louis-Mathurin Busson Du Maurier (1797–1856) and his wife, ...

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Fergusson, James (1808–1886), architectural historian, was born in Ayr, Scotland, in late 1808, the second son of Dr William Fergusson (1773–1846), an army surgeon with an interest in engineering as applied to military hospitals. Fergusson's family eventually settled in Windsor, and James was educated at the ...

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Frye, Thomas (1711/12–1762), portrait painter and porcelain manufacturer, was born in Edenderry, King's county, Ireland, the second of the five sons and two daughters of John Fry (1670–1752) and his wife, Anne Harrington. His grandfather was a dragoon officer who fought with William III...

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Fuseli, Henry [formerly Johann Heinrich Füssli] (1741–1825), painter and writer, was born Johann Heinrich Füssli at Zürich, Switzerland, on 6 February 1741, although he later regularly mis-stated his true birth date. He was baptized on 7 February 1741 at the Grossmünster, Zürich...

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Gheeraerts, Marcus, the younger (1561/2–1636), painter, came as a boy to London from his birthplace Bruges in 1568 with his protestant father, the painter Marcus Gheeraerts the elder (b. c. 1520/21, d. in or after 1586). They were escaping the religious persecutions of the ...

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Girtin, Thomas (1775–1802), watercolour painter, was born at Great Bandy Leg Walk, Southwark, on 18 February 1775, the son of a brushmaker of Huguenot descent, John Girtin (1738–1778), and his wife, Rosehannah (née Townsend). He was baptized at St Saviour's, Southwark, on 17 March. In 1778 ...

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Gombrich, Sir Ernst Hans Josef (1909–2001), art historian, was born on 30 March 1909 in Vienna, the third and youngest child and only son of the lawyer Dr Karl B. Gombrich (1874–1950), vice-president of the disciplinary council of the Austrian bar, and his wife, ...

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Gower, George (d. 1596), portrait and decorative painter, son of George Gower, came of a Yorkshire gentry family. His date of birth and the nature of his training are unknown, although he may have been the George Gower who became a freeman of ...

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Haag, (Johann) Carl (1820–1915), watercolour painter, was born on 20 April 1820 at Theaterstrasse 2, Erlangen, Bavaria. His father, a baker and amateur draughtsman, Johann Christoph Wilhelm Haag (1789–1828), would not allow the precocious boy to have drawing lessons, but after Johann's death in 1828 ...