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William Beechey - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - William Beechey (1753 - 1839)

Sir William Beechey made a career as a portrait painter and stuck mostly to his traditional style for the duration of his life. In 1793, he became the portrait painter to Queen Charlotte and was knighted five years later. He was originally meant for a conveyancer, but a strong love for painting induced him to become a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1772. Some of his smaller portraits gained him considerable reputation; he began to be employed by the nobility, and in 1793 became associate of the Royal Academy.

He painted the portraits of the members of the royal family, and of nearly all the most famous or fashionable persons of the time. What is considered his finest production is a review of cavalry, a large composition in the foreground of which he introduced portraits of George III, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, surrounded by a brilliant staff on horseback. Among his portraits were those of Lord Nelson, John Kemble, and Sarah Siddons.

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