John Downman A.R.A 1750-1824.
First of a series of introductions to the life and work of my favourite artists whose pictures I actively seek to acquire for myself and for my clients.
John Downman was a Welsh born portrait artist from Ruabon, Denbighshire.
A child prodigy. He was amongst the first intake of students in 1769 to the newly founded Royal Academy Schools and later honed his craft under the tutelage of Sir Benjamin West, himself later President of the Academy.
Following a "Grand Tour" of Italy in the company of Joseph Wright of Derby, he returned to England, settling first in Cambridge and later London. He quickly established itself as one of the most fashionable Portraitists of his day. Patronised by the Royal Family, and the aristocracy, his distinctive technique of using black chalk lightly tinted with watercolour and painting on both sides of the sheet, enabled him to work quickly and produce images of his clients in all their fashionable finery. He exhibited 148 works at The Royal Academy between 1769 and 1819. His work has been widely collected ever since.