Little is known about this portrait by Robert Richard Scanlan. It may be derrived from John Linnell's 'oil on panel' portrait of Peel (1838; National Portrait Gallery, London), which was published as a mezzotint in 1838.
Robert Richard Scanlan was born in Ireland. He entered the Royal Academy Schools at the age of 21. Scanlan produced mainly watercolour works but also painted in oils, and his subjects included domestic scenes and portraits. He exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; Royal Academy, British Institution and Society of British Artists in London; the Royal Glasgow Institute and in Cork. He lived at addresses in London, Cork and Plymouth. In November 1849 Scanlan appeared at a debtor’s court, owing money to a carver and guilder who had presumably supplied him with frames. The artist was then described as having ‘struggled with poverty and sickness for some time’. However, from 1853 to 1856 he was Headmaster at Cork School of Design.
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