George Romney (painter): Wikis


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Self-portrait, by George Romney (Musée du Louvre).

George Romney (26 December 1734 ‚Äď 15 November 1802)[1] was an English portrait painter.


Early life and education

Romney was born in Beckside in Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire (now part of Cumbria) and after attending school at Dendron at age eleven was apprenticed to his father as a cabinet-maker. In 1755, he went to Kendal to learn painting from the Cumberland artist, Christopher Steele.


By 1757, Romney was becoming well-known as a portraitist. In 1762, married and with two children, he went to London, where the painting, The Death of General Wolfe won a prize from the Royal Society of Arts. Romney soon had a thriving portrait business in Long Acre. Much of his work features local aristocrats, ranging from wealthy gentlemen and military officers to ladies, children, and entire families. Most of his paintings feature a dark background that contrasts well with the subject of the painting and helps to center the viewer's attention on them.

Despite his great success Romney was never invited to join the Royal Academy nor did he ever apply to join. While there has been much speculation about his relationship with the Academy, there is no doubt that he normally remained aloof maintaining that a good artist should succeed without being a member. His own career supported this belief, and it was only towards the end of his life that he expressed the slightest regret for his views[2]

Portrait of Miss Juliana Willoughby, 1781-83 (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)
Emma Hamilton as a bacchante by George Romney, 1785

In 1773 he travelled to Italy with fellow artist Ozias Humphrey to study art in Rome and Parma, returning to London in 1775 to resume business, this time in Cavendish Square (in a house formerly owned by noted portraitist Francis Cotes). In 1782, he met Emma Hamilton (then called Emma Hart) who became his muse. He painted over 60 portraits of her in various poses, sometimes playing the part of historical or mythological figures.[1] He also painted many other contemporaries, including fellow artist Mary Moser. After an absence of almost forty years, he returned to his family in Kendal in the summer of 1799. He was greeted by his loyal, devoted and unquestioning wife. Romney is buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's Parish Church, Dalton-in-Furness

George Romney is a kinsman of Mitt Romney, U.S politician.[3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Public collections of works

Abbot Hall Art Gallery (Kendal, UK), the Ackland Art Museum (University of North Carolina), the Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (New York), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford), the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (New Brunswick), the Blanton Museum of Art (University of Texas, Austin), Brigham Young University Museum of Art (Utah), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery (Ireland), the Detroit Institute of Arts, Dulwich Picture Gallery (London), Dunedin Public Art Gallery (Dunedin), Falmouth Art Gallery (England), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Fitzwilliam Museum (University of Cambridge), Dalton Castle (England), the Robert Hull Fleming Museum (University of Vermont)[1], the Frick Collection (New York City), the Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Harvard University Art Museums, the Hermitage Museum, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Huntington Library (California), the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre, Manchester City Art Gallery (England), Musée des beaux-arts (Pau, France), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Texas), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia), the National Gallery of Canada, the National Maritime Museum (London, England), the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, the National Museums Liverpool (England), the National Portrait Gallery, London, the New Art Gallery (Walsall, England), the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena, California), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Tate Gallery and the Wallace Collection (London).


See also

Leeds Castle ( Maidstone Kent UK)


  1. ^ a b "Miss Anna Seward". University of Vermont. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  2. ^ Cross, David A. A Striking Likeness: The Life of George Romney. Ashgate, 2000. 288 pp. ISBN 1-84014-671-0
  3. ^ AF Pedigree View Page
  4. ^ AF Pedigree View Page
  5. ^ AF Pedigree View Page
  6. ^ Family Group Record - Ancestral File
  7. ^ Individual Record
  8. ^

External links

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