Was born in may 1761 in St. Agnes, Cornwall; died on 9 Jun 1807 in London. He studied at Truro and in London (1780) O. Humphrey. Worked in London. In 1802, visited France. From 1805 Professor of Academy of fine Arts. Portraits, paintings on historical, literary and everyday scenes (a series of paintings for ”Shakespeare gallery” George.Boydell, 1786-89., etc.). Works: portraits – T. Holcroft, Mary Wollstonecraft-Godwin, the self – portrait all at the National portrait gallery, London, nephew of W. OPIE (national gallery, London); actress Francis Vinnicombe (1796, the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg); “School teacher” (1784, a collection of Loyd, Wantage, Berkshire).
English painter, master of portrait and genre, popular in England in the late 18th century.
He was born in the area, mining tin, where his father was a carpenter.
He had a natural talent for drawing and was supported by an itinerant Dr. John Wolcott (the poet Peter Pindar, 1738-1819), who was an Amateur artist, but had many connections and friends-artists.
Wolcott roughly from 1775 taught OPIE the basics of drawing and painting, printmaking provided him the opportunity to copy them.
Early portraits OPIE, "Portrait of Dolly PETN" (1777, Cornwall), are the work of a competent provincial painter, really painstakingly studied engravings of the portraits of Rembrandt.
His attempts chiaroscuro and blending of paints a thick layer in the manner of Rembrandt gave his paintings a maturity that impressed the audience waiting to see the work of "dropout".
Thus, in 1780, when the painting "Boy's Head" was shown in London at the Society of artists, and OPI was called the "Cornish wonder".
When he arrived in London in 1781, where he was promoted by Wolcott, and his paintings were shown at the Royal Academy in 1781 and 1782, he was called a "unique phenomenon" and a "genius self-taught", making the impression even Joshua Reynolds, who noted that the OPI - "like Caravaggio and Velasquez in one."
Indeed, the works of these masters, like Rembrandt, was a strong formative elements in his art.
In 1786 he was commissioned from John Boydell of seven illustrations for the Shakespeare gallery. Shown his first historical work was "the Murder of James I of Scotland" (1786), and then there was"Murder, Riccio" (1787). These works ensured his election in 1787 as a member of the Royal Academy. In 1805 he received the title of Professor of painting at the Academy.
In the 1780s he was very popular. His mastery of the portrait is marked by realism and the contrast of light and shadow. He was also known as the author of paintings on historical and literary subjects.