King William IV (1765-1837) when Duke of Clarence
Mezzotintpublished 2 April 1801
- About the work
About the artist
Martin Archer Shee, portrait painter and writer, was born in Dublin, the son of a merchant. After studying in his native city in the early 1780s, he moved to London in 1788 and entered the Royal Academy schools in 1790. Ten years later he was made a Royal Academician. In 1830, Shee was elected President of the Royal Academy, succeeding Sir Thomas Lawrence, and was knighted in the same year. Shee died in Brighton at the age of 80.
Printmaker and painter James Ward was born in London; the son of a fruit merchant. He did not attend school but was apprenticed to engraver John Raphael Smith from twelve. After the apprenticeship was terminated, he studied under his brother, printmaker William. He later concentrated on painting, in which he was largely self-taught. In 1794 Ward became Painter and Engraver in Mezzotint to the Prince of Wales. In 1800 the Board of Agriculture commissioned him to produce some 200 paintings of livestock. Although the commission fell through after c.100 pictures, it led to similar private commissions. Ward was elected a Royal Academician in 1811. He received an annual pension of £100 from the Academy before his death in Hertfordshire, aged 90.