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Thomas Webster03.jpg
The Artist's Parents c1844 (detail)
The Village Choir c1847
In Sickness and Health 1843

Thomas Webster (March 10, 1800 - September 23, 1886), English figure painter, was born at Ranelagh Street, Pimlico, London.

His father was a member of the household of George III; and the son, having shown an aptitude for music, became a chorister in the Chapel Royal, St James's. He, however, developed a still stronger love for painting, and in 1821 he was admitted student of the Royal Academy, to whose exhibition he contributed, in 1824, portraits of "Mrs Robinson and Family."

In the following year he gained the first medal in the school of painting. Till 1879 he continued to exhibit in the Royal Academy work of a genial and gently humorous character, dealing commonly with subjects of familiar incident, and especially of child life. Many of these were exceedingly popular, particularly his "Punch" (1840), which procured in 1841 his election as ARA, followed five years later by full membership. He became an honorary retired academician in 1877, and died at Cranbrook, Kent, on the 23rd of September 1886.

Webster was leader of a group of artists who called themselves "The Cranbrook Colony". His artistic manner significantly influenced that of George Bernard O'Neill and Frederick Daniel Hardy.

Some of his pictures were produced as prints by the pioneering printer Abraham Le Blond. "Please remember the Grotto" "Snowballing" and maybe "The Swing".

His "Going into School, or the Truant" (1836), and his "Dame's School" (1845) are in the National Gallery, London and five of his works are in the South Kensington Museum.

His pictures, "Going to the Fair" and "Returning from the Fair" show his parents.

In 1856 Webster was photographed at 'The Photographed Institute' by Robert Howlett, as part of a series of portraits of 'fine artists'. The picture was among a group exhibited at the 'Art Treasures Exhibition' in Manchester in 1857.[1]

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This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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