Richard Westall, R.A. 1765 - 1836
Self-portrait of Richard Westall, R.A.
Photo: R.A.
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Self-portrait of Richard Westall, R.A., By 1793
Oil on canvas, 750 X 620 X 50 mm
Purchased from Henry Graves,
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Richard Westall came from a family of painters and illustrators. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1785 and became a prolific illustrator and painter of portraits, genre works and historical and literary scenes. Westall made many illustrations for the novels of Sir Walter Scott and poems of Lord Byron, of whom he painted several portraits. In the last nine years of his life he was drawing master to Princess Victoria, but by this time his work had fallen out of favour and he died in penury.

This romantic self-portrait however shows Westall at the height of his career, shortly before his election as a full Member of the Academy. Loosely executed it emphasizes the artist’s dark eyes and casual coiffeur.

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