George RICHMOND (Brompton, 1809 - London, 1896)
A disciple of Willam Blake and a close friend of Samuel Palmer, George Richmond formed - with Palmer, Edward Calvert and other followers of Blake - a small group who called themselves ‘The Ancients’. The only member of ‘The Ancients’ who received a conventional academic training, Richmond entered the Royal Academy Schools in December 1824, at the age of just fourteen, and there studied under Henry Fuseli. It was while he was at the Academy Schools that he first proved himself to be an accomplished and gifted draughtsman. Between 1824 and 1828 Richmond often joined Blake, Palmer, John Varley and others at John Linnell’s Hampstead home to draw from nature, as he also did with Palmer at Shoreham in Kent for several weeks in 1827. After his marriage in 1831, Richmond began working primarily as a portrait painter, soon achieving a considerable measure of success. Indeed, it is as a portraitist that he is best known today, and which accounts for the bulk of his extant oeuvre as a painter.