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Sir Vicary Gibbs (1751-1820) Chief Justice Common Pleas
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- About the work
About the artist
Engraver Thomas Goff Lupton was born in Clerkenwell, London; the son of a goldsmith. He trained under engraver George Clint. Lupton produced the first soft steel plates, able to print considerably more copies than copper plates, for which he was awarded the ‘Isis medal’ of the Society of Arts in 1822. He was employed by J. M. W. Turner on ‘Liber Studiorum’ (1807-19) and in 1825 six of his plates after Turner were published as ‘Views of the Ports of England’; reissued with six more as ‘The Harbours of England’ (1856 ; text by Ruskin). Lupton engraved numerous portraits after artists including Lawrence and Reynolds, and also exhibited pastels at the Royal Academy. He was elected President of the Artists' Annuity Fund (1836). He died aged 81.
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.