John Keyse Sherwin was born in Sussex, the son of Francis Sherwin, a labourer. He initially worked as a gardener on William Mitford’s estate near Petworth. In 1769, Mitford sent one of his drawings to the Society of Arts and the work won the silver medal. Sherwin later moved to London, where he studied painting under John Astley and engraving under Bartolozzi. In 1770 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. He set up his own studio in 1774, publishing his first engraving in 1775. During the next ten years he exhibited drawings of historical subjects. He also engraved works by Reynolds, Kauffman, Gainsborough and others. In 1785 he was made Historical Engraver to King George III. However, he died aged just 37 in an alehouse in Westminster.
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