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Francis Wheatley (1747 - June 28, 1801), was an English portrait and
landscape painter, was born at Wild Court, Covent Garden, London. He studied
at William Shipley's drawing school and the Royal Academy, and won several
prizes from the Society of Arts. He assisted in the decoration of Vauxhall,
and aided John Hamilton Mortimer in painting a ceiling for Lord Melbourne at
Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire.
The Irish House of Commons in 1780 by Wheatley
In his youth, his life was irregular and dissipated. He eloped to Ireland
with the wife of Gresse, a brother artist, and established himself in Dublin
as a portrait-painter, executing, among other works, an interior of the Irish
House of Commons. His scene from the Gordon Riots of 1780 was engraved by
Heath. He painted several subjects for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, designed
illustrations to Bell's edition of the poets, and practised to some small
extent as an etcher and mezzotint-engraver. It is, however, as a painter, in
both oil and water-color, of landscapes and rustic subjects that Wheatley is
best remembered. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1790, and
an academician in the following year. His wife, as Mrs Pope after his death,
was known as a painter of flowers and portraits.
In strict historical sequence we should before this have mentioned
William Pars, A.R.A., born in
1742, a portrait painter, who practised also in water-colours in the stained
manner, and died in Rome in 1782. He travelled much on the continent, where he
successfully delineated the ancient architectural remains, working for the
Dilettanti Society and for Lord Palmerston ; he likewise accompanied Dr.
Chandler to Greece. Some of his Swiss views have been engraved by Woollett,
and Sandby reproduced certain of his drawings in aqua-tint.
Foremost among these artists we must place
Wheatley, R.A., who was born in the vicinity of Covent Garden in
1747. He was the son of a tailor, who early perceived the boy's fondness for
art, and placed him under a good drawing master. He subsequently worked at
Shipley's school and became a student of the Royal Academy. He distinguished
himself greatly thus early in his career and carried off several of the
premiums of the Society of Arts, which at all times seem to have proved
valuable of the great window of Salisbury Cathedral was executed by him, and
he made the cartoons for the stained glass at Braze- nose College, Oxford.