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

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

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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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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 ...

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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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Calderon, Philip Hermogenes (1833–1898), historical genre painter, was born on 3 May 1833 in Poitiers, France. His mother, Margueritte Chapelle, was French and his father, the Revd Juan Calderón, was Spanish, from the area of La Mancha, and was descended from the famous playwright ...

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L. H. Cust

revised by Deborah Graham-Vernon

Casanova, Francesco (bap. 1727, d. 1803), battle and equestrian painter, was born in London, where he was baptized on 7 June 1727, one of six sons of the travelling Venetian actors Gaetano Giuseppe Casanova (d. 1733) and Giovanna Zanetta Farussi. His brothers included the infamous adventurer ...

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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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Cochran, William (1738–1785), portrait painter and history painter, was born at Strathaven, Lanark, and baptized on 12 December 1738 in the parish of Avondale, Lanarkshire, the son of John Cochran, barber. He began his artistic training in 1754 at the academy of painting in ...

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L. A. Fagan

revised by Annette Peach

Cook, Richard (1784–1857), history painter, was born in Stanway, Gloucestershire, where he was baptized in December 1784, the son of George Cook, a farmer, and his wife Ann née Williams. Aged sixteen he obtained admission into the schools of the Royal Academy, where he was a pupil of ...

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Cooper, Abraham (1787–1868), battle and animal painter, was born on 8 September 1787 at Red Lion Street, Holborn, London. His father was a tobacconist and later became an innkeeper at Holloway and for a time at Edmonton, but with little financial success. Cooper...