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Atkinson, John Augustus (1774x6–1830), painter and engraver, is of unknown parentage. He was taken as a boy aged eight or nine to St Petersburg by the mezzotint engraver James Walker, who may have been his uncle and who had accepted a post at the court of ...

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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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Sir Nathaniel Bacon (1585–1627) self-portrait, c. 1618–20 reproduced by permission of the Earl of Verulam. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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See Barber, Joseph

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Barlow, Francis (d. 1704), painter and etcher, was said by George Vertue to have come from Lincolnshire and to have been apprenticed in London to the portrait painter William Shepherd. His earliest dated work is a drawing of 1648 depicting David slaying the lion (...

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Barnard, Lambert (d. 1567/8), painter and calligrapher, may have been the son of a Dutch émigré rumoured to have come to England in the latter decades of the fifteenth century (Croft-Murray, 110), but further details of his parents and place of birth are unknown. He was perhaps born in the early 1490s, as his son ...

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See Barraud, William

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Martin Hardie

revised by Kate Flint

Bayliss, Sir Wyke (1835–1906), painter and writer, was born at Madeley, Shropshire, on 21 October 1835, the second son of John Cox Bayliss of Prior's Leigh and Anne Wyke. His father was a railway engineer and a successful teacher of military and mathematical drawing. At an early age ...

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See Lambert, George

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Beechey, Henry William (1788/9–1862), painter and explorer, was born probably at 37 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London, the eldest son of the portrait painter Sir William Beechey (1753–1839) and his first wife. Nothing is known of his education. In August 1815 he became secretary to ...

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(Frank) Graham Bell (1910–1943) by Olivier Bell, 1938 [painting Dover Front] private collection

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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 Hamilton], Maria, Lady Bell (1755–1825), painter and sculptor, was born on 26 December 1755 in Chelsea, Middlesex, and baptized on 28 December at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, the daughter of William Hamilton, an architect of Scottish descent, and his wife, Sarah...

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Bevan, Robert Polhill (1865–1925), painter, was born at 17 Brunswick Square, Hove, Sussex, on 5 August 1865, the fourth of the six children of Richard Alexander Bevan (1834–1918), a banker of Brighton, and Laura Maria Polhill (d. 1906). After four terms at ...

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Samuel John Birch [Lamorna Birch] (1869–1955) by James Ardern Grant, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Bowen, Denis Arthur (1921–2006), painter, was born on 5 April 1921 at Zantespans Drift Farm, near Kimberley, South Africa, one of two sons and two daughters of Alan Bowen, a farmer originally from Cardigan, and his wife, Bertha, née Jones. Orphaned young, he went to ...

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Brett, Rosa [pseud. Rosarius] (1829–1882), painter, was born on 7 December 1829 and baptized at St George's, Camberwell, Surrey, on 26 March 1830, the eldest of the five children of Captain Charles Curtis Brett (1789–1865), veterinary surgeon in the 12th lancers, and his wife, ...

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Bronckorst, Arnold (fl. 1565–1586), painter, was active in both England and Scotland. The earliest record of him is a payment for a portrait of Sir Henry Sidney, probably a miniature (1565/6). A full-sized portrait of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (Hatfield House, Hertfordshire...

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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...