Henry Perronet Briggs was born in Walworth, south-east London. His father held a senior position in the Post Office. He was 14 when two of his drawings were published in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1811 and in 1813 moved to Cambridge, where he painted portraits of scholars. In the following year, he returned to London. Briggs exhibited 19 historical and Shakespearean subjects at the British Institution (1819-30) and was elected a Royal Academician in 1832; from then concentrating on portraiture. In 1838 he was in first place in the ‘Fraser’s Magazine’ list of ‘Best Victorian Painters’. However, Briggs and his wife, Elizabeth, became infected with tuberculosis; Elizabeth dying in 1839, Briggs in 1844.
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