Charles Abbott, 1st Baron of Tenterden (1762-1832) Chief Justice of the King’s Bench
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- About the work
About the artist
William Owen, portrait painter, from Ludlow, Shropshire, was the son of a hairdresser and book seller. He moved to London in his 20s and was apprenticed to a coach-painter, before entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1791. He married the daughter of a shoemaker, thought to be wealthy, but declared insolvent at death. This left Owen bankrupt and imprisoned at Dover for his debts. He nonetheless became a member of the Academy in 1806 and Painter to the Prince of Wales in 1810, although the Prince never sat for him. He was later disabled by an infection of the spine and unable to paint after 1820. Aged 55, he died of poisoning when a chemist’s assistant mistakenly gave him opium. Many of his paintings were finished by Edward Daniel Leahy.
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.