Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DOWNMAN , JOHN ( 1750 - 1824 ), painter ;

b. in Denbighshire (and not in Devonshire as some writers have stated) in 1750 . He studied at the Royal Academy Schools , 1769 , and under Sir Benjamin West ; he became A.R.A. in 1795 . He practised portrait painting at Cambridge , 1777 , visited Plymouth in 1806 , and was working at Exeter , 1807-8 . He returned to London , where he resided for many years, living afterwards in Chester and finally at Wrexham , where his daughter had m. and where she d. in 1840 . He m. the daughter of William Jackson , Exeter , composer , and organist at Exeter cathedral . He painted subject-pictures in water-colour and oil , amongst them being ‘ A lady at work ,’ ‘ Death of Lucretia ,’ ‘ Rosalind .’ Bartolozzi engraved a large number of his portraits — ‘ Duchess of Devonshire ,’ ‘ Lady Duncannon ,’ ‘ Mrs. Siddons ,’ etc. He d. 24 Dec. 1824, aged 74, at Wrexham .

Sources:

  • Bryan , Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers .

Author:

Reverend Thomas Mardy Rees, (1871-1953), Neath

Published date: 1959