George Arnald was born in Berkshire and became a pupil of engraver and painter William Pether. He was based in London throughout his career and exhibited 176 paintings at the Royal Academy, 63 at the British Institution and two at the New Water-Colour Society. Portrait painter Henry William Pickersgill was his pupil from 1802 to 1805. Arnald became an associate member of the Royal Academy. He specialised in landscape and genre subjects, producing fewer marine paintings. However, his best known work is a marine subject: ‘The Destruction of 'L'Orient' at the Battle of the Nile’ (1825-27; National Maritime Museum). He died in London in 1841. Other examples of his work are at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, and the Institute of Civil Engineers.
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