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Agasse, Jacques-Laurent (1767–1849), painter, was born on 24 March 1767 at Geneva, and baptized there at the Temple Neuf on 21 April, the son of Philippe Agasse (1739–1827), merchant, and his wife, Catherine Audeoud (1737–1818). His family were merchants of Huguenot origin who had been established in ...

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Aitchison, (John Ronald) Craigie (1926–2009), artist, was born at 12 India Street, Edinburgh, on 13 January 1926, the second son of Craigie Mason Aitchison, later Lord Aitchison (1882–1941), and his wife, Charlotte Mary Forbes, née Jones (d. 1970). Craigie was his paternal grandmother's maiden name. His father was a distinguished Scottish lawyer, Labour then National Labour MP for ...

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Allan, Sir William (1782–1850), painter, was born on 4 October 1782 and baptized on 11 October in the Old Kirk, Edinburgh, one of the three children of William Allan, the macer at the court of session and his wife, Mary, née Cram. The family lived at ...

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Arundale, Francis (1807–1853), architect and painter, was born at 4 Stanhope Terrace, London, on 9 August 1807, the son of George Arundale. He was an early pupil of Augustus Charles Pugin, with whom he stayed for seven years, accompanying his master to Normandy...

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Bacon, Francis (1909–1992), painter, was born on 28 October 1909 at 63 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, the second of five children of English parents, Edward Anthony Mortimer Bacon, army officer, and his wife, Christina Winifred Firth. Bacon's father moved his family to Westbourne Terrace, London...

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Bacon, Sir Nathaniel (1585–1627), painter, was born at Redgrave in Suffolk in August 1585, the grandson of Lord Keeper Bacon and the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon (c. 1543–1624) [see under Bacon, Sir Nathaniel (1546?-1622)], subsequently the premier baronet of ...

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Barker, Thomas (1767–1847), painter and lithographer, known as Barker of Bath, was born at Trosnant, Pontypool, in 1767, the son of a former solicitor and minor artist, Benjamin Barker (c.1720–1793) and his wife, Anne. He attended Shepton Mallet grammar school. In 1783 the family settled in ...

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Batoni, Pompeo Girolamo (1708–1787), painter and draughtsman, was born on 25 January 1708 in Lucca, Italy, and baptized in San Frediano, Lucca, on 5 February, the son of Paolino Batoni, goldsmith, and his wife, Chiara Sesti. For nearly half a century he recorded the visits to ...

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Bawden, Edward (1903–1989), painter and designer, was born on 10 March 1903 in Braintree, Essex, the only child of Edward Bawden, a Braintree ironmonger of Cornish stock, and his wife, Eleanor Game, the daughter of a Suffolk gamekeeper. He went to Braintree high school...

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Bell, (Frank) Graham (1910–1943), painter and writer, was born on 21 November 1910 near Brakpan, Johannesburg, Transvaal, the eldest of the three sons of Frank Graham Bell (1874–1948), a British mining engineer, and his wife, Marjorie, née Hewitt (1888–1979). The family spent from 1915 to 1922 in ...

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Bell [née Stephen], Vanessa (1879–1961), painter, was born at 22 Hyde Park Gate, London, on 30 May 1879, the eldest in the family of two sons and two daughters of Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904), the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography...

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Birch, Samuel John [known as Lamorna Birch] (1869–1955), painter, was born on 7 June 1869 at The Cottage, Rudgrave Square, Egremont, Cheshire, the eldest of the nine children of John Birch (1839–1900), house painter and decorator, and Elizabeth Glover (1845–c.1930)...

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Birley, Sir Oswald Hornby Joseph (1880–1952), painter, was born on 31 March 1880 in Auckland, New Zealand, the son of Hugh Francis Birley, of St Asaph, north Wales, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of George McCorquodale, of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, while his parents were on a world tour. He was their only child and his father was determined to ensure the development of his son's artistic talent which had shown itself at an early age. He was educated at ...

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Blow, Sandra Betty (1925–2006), painter and collagist, was born on 14 September 1925, at 64 Manor Road, Stoke Newington, London, the only daughter of Jacob (Jack) Blow, a fruit wholesaler at Spitalfields market in Shoreditch, and his wife, Leah (Lily), née Rubinstein. She was of Jewish descent. Her brothers, ...

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Bomberg, David Garshen (1890–1957), painter, was born at 18 Florence Street, Birmingham, on 5 December 1890, the fifth of the eleven children of Abraham Bomberg (1867/8–1938), a Polish immigrant leather-worker, and his wife, Rebecca, née Klan (1863/4–1912), whose family kept an inn and reared horses. In 1895 the family moved to ...

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Boswell, James Edward Buchanan (1906–1971), painter and socialist, was born on 9 June 1906 in Westport, New Zealand. His father, Edward Blair Buchanan Boswell (1860–1933), who was born in Stewarton, Scotland, was deputy headmaster of the local high school, an artistic dilettante and amateur watercolourist; his mother, ...

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Martin Hardie

revised by Olivia Fitzpatrick

Boughton, George Henry (1833–1905), painter and illustrator, was born on 4 December 1833 at a village near Norwich, where his father, William Boughton, was a farmer. Taken by his parents to America as an infant, he lived in Albany, New York, where he was educated at the high school. Self-taught as an artist, he sold his first painting, ...

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Brontë, (Patrick) Branwell (1817–1848), writer and painter, was born on 26 June 1817 at Thornton in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the fourth of six children of the Revd Patrick Brontë (1777–1861), Church of England clergyman, and Maria Branwell (1783–1821), daughter of Thomas and Anne Branwell...

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Brooks [née Goddard], (Beatrice) Romaine Mary (1874–1970), painter and lesbian icon, was born in a hotel in Rome on 1 May 1874, the third of three children of Major Harry Goddard, army officer, and his wife, Ella Waterman (d. 1902), who were both American citizens. Her father was reputed to be an alcoholic, and her parents divorced not long after her birth. Her mother was very rich, having a number of residences in various European countries. Despite this she seems to have spent little time or money on her two daughters, reserving most of her affection for her sickly and unstable son, ...

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Brown, Christy (1932–1981), writer and painter, was born on 5 June 1932 at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, the son of Patrick Brown (d. 1955), a Catholic bricklayer active in the trade union, and his wife, Bridget Fagan (d. 1968). There were seventeen children in all, thirteen of whom survived into adulthood; ...