Saturday, January 31, 2015

William Mulready

The Sonnet
oil on canvas
36 x 31 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

William Mulready (1786-1863) was a succesful painter of genre scenes. He painted simple scenes from everyday life and his work was very popular in his own time. He was born in Ennis, County Clare and his family moved to Dublin when he was very small. In 1792, the family moved to London, where he was able to get an education and was taught painting well enough so that he was accepted at the Royal Academy School in 1800, at the age of fourteen.

He began as a drawing master and an illustrator of children's books. After 1809 he devoted himself to genre subjects and gained a considerable reputation. His popular paintings show the influences of Sir David Wilkie and of the Dutch school. He was also an art scholar and illustrator of children's books.

He became a member of the Royal Academy and received the Legion d'Honneur for the paintings that he had sent to the International Exhibition of 1815 in Paris. John Ruskin considered him to be a superb technician and colorist.