Anecdotes of Painting in England: With Some Account of the Principal Artists - Vol. 2

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview

and with few opportunities of studying nature in the very part of the creation which his talents led him to represent, he became, if not a great master, a faithful imitator of the inferior class of beings. His birds in particular are strongly and richly coloured, and were much sought as ornaments over doors and chimney-pieces. I have seen some pieces of his hand painted with a freedom and fire that entitled them to more distinction. He worked in general by the day, and for dealers who retailed his works, possessing that conscious dignity of talents that scorned dependence, and made him hate to be employed by men whose birth and fortune confined his fancy, and restrained his freedom. Vertue records a proof of his merit which I fear will enter into the panegyrics of few modern painters : he says he saw several of Cradock's pictures rise quickly after his death to three and four times the price that he had received for them living. 1 He died in 1717, and was buried at St. Mary's, Whitechapel.


PETER CASTEELS,

(1684—1749,)

was, like Cradock, though inferior in merit, a painter of fowls, but more commonly of flowers; yet neither with the boldness and relievo of a master, nor with the finished accuracy that in so many Flemish painters almost atones for want of genius. He was born at Antwerp in 1684, and in 1708 came over with his brother, 2 Peter Tillemans. In 1716 he made a short journey to his native city, but returned soon. In 1726 he published twelve plates of birds and fowl, which he had designed and etched himself, and did a few other things in the same way. In 1735 he retired to Tooting, to design for calico printers ; and lastly, the manufacture being removed thither, to Richmond, where he died of a lingering illness, May 16, 1749.

____________________
1
[The same may be said of several English painters who have died since this was written, and during the course of this century. Wilson is perhaps the most striking example.—W.]
2
So Vertue. I suppose he means brother-in-law.

-268-

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