Sir George Grey, 2nd Baronet (1799-1882) Home Secretary
Mezzotintpublished 2 October 1850
- About the work
About the artist
Sir Francis Grant, son of a Scottish Laird, took up painting professionally after having exhausted his £10,000 inheritance by his late 20s. An early enthusiasm for fox hunting led him to settle at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, the centre of hunting society, where he studied under the well-known sporting painter, John Ferneley. In 1840 Grant’s portrait of Queen Victoria riding with Prime Minister Lord Melbourne and others in the Great Park at Windsor established his reputation and he soon became one of the most fashionable society painters of the day. He was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1851 and its President in 1865. Grant died at the age of 75 and was buried at the cemetery near his country residence at Melton Mowbray.
Samuel William Reynolds was a painter and engraver. Despite publishing his first prints in the mid-1790s, he found himself in debt by 1800 and came to rely upon the financial help of Samuel Whitbread MP. It was under Whitbread’s patronage that Reynolds was able to broaden his interests to include painting, architecture and landscape design. He exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy and British Institution and was also a collector; owning a group of drawings by Thomas Girtin. In 1809 he visited France for the first time and he went on to exhibit engravings at the Paris Salon in 1810 and 1812. Reynolds also worked in Paris on occasion, where he found a market for his paintings of landscapes and cottage scenes.