Richard Westall (1765 – 1836)

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A Peasant Boy

Richard Westall was an English painter and was the more successful of two half-brothers who each became painters. His younger half-brother was William Westall (1781-1850), a well-travelled landscape painter.


The Birth of Sin, 1794

Born in Norwich, Richard Westall was apprenticed to a heraldic silver engraver in London in 1779 before studying at the Royal Academy School of Art on 10 December 1785. He exhibited at the Academy regularly between 1784 and 1836 becoming an Associate in November 1792 and being elected an Academician on 10 February 1794. From 1790 to 1795, he shared a house with Sir Thomas Lawrence, the future RA President, at 57 Greek Street, on the corner of Soho Square, where each of the artists placed their name on one of the entrances.


The Sword of Damocles, 1812

His works, many of which were watercolor, included portraits of Queen Victoria, Lord Byron and Richard Ayton as well as many historical subjects in the neoclassical style. Westall was a successful illustrator of books, including an edition of the Bible and of John Milton’s poems, and worked for the noted publisher John Boydell. He also served as drawing master to the future Queen of England, Princess Victoria, between 1827 and 1836. She was his first and only pupil, but one who was inspired by his example.


Satan Touched by Ithuriel, 1825

Still wondering about a British painting in your family collection? Contact us…it could be by Richard Westall.


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