Anthony Devis was born in Preston and was from a well-known artistic family. His half brother was the better-known painter Arthur Devis (c.1711-1787). Anthony is believed to have worked as a painter from the age of 13. He lived and worked in London from 1742 and won a prize for landscape at the Society of Artists of Great Britain in 1763. His work was exhibited at the Free Society of Artists in 1761 and 1763 and at the Royal Academy in 1772 and 1781. Devis toured widely around Britain, particularly in wilder areas such as the Lake District, and gradually both he and those who bought his paintings came under the spell of the picturesque.
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