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Henry William
Pickersgill

United Kingdom 
1782−1875
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English artist. Was born in London. The stylistic similarity of his works are portraits of Thomas Lawrence suggests that the Pickersgill at one time worked in his Studio. It is known that he studied with George Arnald, marine painter and in school at the Royal Academy. Pickersgill became a fashionable portrait painter, in the period between 1806 and 1872 he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British institution more than four hundred portraits. In 1826 he was elected a Royal Academician. His eldest son Henry Hall Pickersgill was also an artist, who painted portraits in the style of the father, and genre scenes.

He initially worked in the silk weaving industry in London, but the revolutionary events in England and the Napoleonic wars led to a decline in demand in the silk trade and thus encouraged him to become a painter.

From 1802 to 1805 he studied at George Arnald (1763-1841), marine painter.

After showing their works of Fuseli, he went to school at the Royal Academy in London, and in 1806 to the Academy.

The stylistic similarity of his works are portraits of Thomas Lawrence suggests that the Pickersgill at one time worked in his Studio.

Although he painted at different times and landscapes, and symbolic paintings and figures, such as "Syrian girl" (1837; London, Gallery Tait), he specialized in painting portraits.

Pickersgill was a fashionable portrait painter, in the period between 1806 and 1872, he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British institution more than four hundred portraits.

In 1822 he was elected a candidate member of the Academy, and an academician in 1826.

In 1829 he painted a portrait of the philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

His position is one of the most popular portraitists strengthened after the death of his only real competitor of Thomas Phillips in 1845.

Virtually every prominent figure of history and culture in England, gave him an order for a portrait among his later portraits a good portrait of the collector Robert Vernon (1846, London, Tayt). He received numerous official commissions, including several from Oxford colleges.

From the 1860s he painted many illustrations for the works of Shakespeare and Byron.

In 1856 he became librarian of the Royal Academy, a position he held until his death.

His eldest son Henry Hall Pickersgill also became an artist, who painted genre scenes and portraits in the style of his father.

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