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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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William Aikman of Cairnie (1682–1731) self-portrait Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Barker, Thomas Jones (1813–1882), war and portrait painter, was born on 19 April 1813 at Bath, Somerset, the eldest son and fifth child of Thomas Barker (1767–1847) of Bath, painter and lithographer, and his wife, Priscilla, née Jones. Educated at Heckingham College, he was taught to paint by his father. From 1834 he studied in ...

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Chalmers, George Paul (1833–1878), portrait and landscape painter, the son of Stewart Chalmers (1804–1848), seaman and captain of a coasting vessel, and Marjory Torrie (1810–1879), barmaid and innkeeper, was born in Montrose on 12 November 1833. He was educated at the burgh school and thereafter apprenticed to ...

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Alfred Edward Chalon (1780–1860) self-portrait, 1847 © Copyright The British Museum

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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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Forbes, Ann (1745–1834), portrait painter, was born in Inveresk, Scotland, on 31 May 1745, the daughter of Hugh Forbes, advocate, and Margaret Forbes, née Aikman, and granddaughter of the Scottish portraitist William Aikman. In 1768 she left Edinburgh to study art in Rome...

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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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Thomas Frye (1711/1212–1762) self-portrait, 1760 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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George Gower (d. 1596) self-portrait, 1579 private collection; photograph A. C. Cooper

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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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Grimaldi, William, Marquess Grimaldi in the Genoese nobility (1751–1830), miniature painter, was born in Christopher's Alley, Shoreditch, London, on 26 August 1751 and baptized at home on 22 September, the fourth but eldest surviving son of Alexander Grimaldi, Marquess Grimaldi (1724–1800), of Christopher's Alley, Shoreditch...

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Hilliard, Laurence (1582–1648), miniature painter, was born probably at the London tenement where his parents lived in Gutter Lane, adjoining Goldsmiths' Hall, and was baptized at St Vedast-alias-Foster, Foster Lane, Cheapside, on 5 March 1582, the fourth of the seven children of Nicholas Hilliard (1547?–1619)...

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Hysing [Hyssing, Huysing, Huyssing], Hans (1678–1752/3), portrait painter, was born in Stockholm, the son of Diedrich Hysing (fl. 1676–1707), a goldsmith. After a three-year apprenticeship as a goldsmith with V. E. Schröder, he turned to painting in 1694, studying under the Swedish painter ...

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Oliver, Peter [Pierre] (1589–1647), miniature painter, was the eldest son of the miniaturist Isaac Oliver and his first wife, Elizabeth (b. 1570/71), whom he had possibly met and married in the Low Countries about 1588. She died and was buried, aged twenty-eight, on 6 September 1599. The ...

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Peter Oliver (1589–1647) self-portrait, c. 1625–30 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ramsay, Allan, of Kinkell (1713–1784), portrait painter, was born in Edinburgh, in the parish of New Kirk, on 2 October 1713, the first of at least five surviving children of the Scottish poet and bookseller Allan Ramsay (1684–1758) and his wife, Christian Ross (...

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Allan Ramsay of Kinkell (1713–1784) self-portrait, c. 1737–9 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Webber, John (1751–1793), landscape and portrait painter, was born in London on 6 October 1751, the second and probably oldest surviving of six children of Abraham Wäber (1715–1780), a Swiss sculptor from Bern, Switzerland, who moved to London in the early 1740s, Anglicized his name, and married ...