Musée No:656.011

Musée No:656.011

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Portrait of Richard Palmer

Artist: George Romney

Date: 1787

George Romney (1734 –1802) was an English portrait painter. He was the most fashionable artist of his day, painting many leading society figures – including his artistic muse, Emma Hamilton, who was the mistress of Lord Nelson. He painted her more than 60 times.

He was born in Lancashire, in 1734, the third of the eleven children. Leaving school at the age of eleven, he worked for eight years in his father's cabinetmaking workshop before being apprenticed to a local painter. He married a Kendal girl, Mary Abbot, on 14 October 1756, and painted at Kendal from 1756 to 1762, principally small full-length portraits. In 1762 Romney moved to London, leaving his wife and son behind, and from then on saw them only on his few visits to the north. In 1773 he travelled to Italy with the miniaturist Ozias Humphry, remaining there until 1775, mainly in Rome. On his return to London Romney was patronized by the Duke of Richmond. He rented a grand house in Cavendish Square, with a large painting room. He achieved instant success, and his unremitting application as a society portraitist is fully documented by his sitter books, which survive for the years 1776 to 1795. He never bothered to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts, though this was partly due to a disagreement with Reynolds. He gave up portrait painting at the end of 1795 due to ill health and overwork and retired to Hampstead.

Unfortunately I can find no information about the rather dapper Mr Palmer.

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