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

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview

never attained any higher excellence. He was the only son of Mr. James Seymour, a banker and great virtuoso, who drew well himself, and had been intimate with Faithorne, Lely, Simon, and Sir Christopher Wren, and died at the age of eighty-one, in 1739; the son, in 1752, aged fifty.


JOHN BAPTIST VANLOO, 1

(1684—1746,)

brother of Carlo 2 Vanloo, a painter in great esteem at Paris, studied in the academy at Rome, and became painter to the King of Sardinia, in whose court he made a considerable fortune, but lost it all in the Mississippi, going to Paris in the year of that bubble. He was countenanced by the regent, and appointed one of the king's painters, though inferior in merit to his brother. At Paris he had the honour of drawing the portrait of King Stanislaus. In 1737 he came to England with his son, when he was about the age of fifty-five. His first works here were the portraits of Colley Cibber and Owen Mac Swinney, whose long silver- grey hairs were extremely picturesque, and contributed to give the new painter reputation. Mac Swinney was a remarkable person, 3 of much humour, and had been formerly a manager of the operas, but for several years had resided at Venice. He had been concerned in a publication of prints from Vandyck, ten whole-lengths of which were engraved by Van Gunst. He afterwards engaged in procuring a set of emblematic pictures, exhibiting the most shining actions of English heroes, statesmen, and patriots. These were painted by the best masters then in Italy, and pompous prints made from them, but with indifferent success ; the stories being so ill told, that it is extremely difficult to decipher to what individual so many tombs, edifices, and allegories belong in each respective piece. Several of these paintings are in the possession of his Grace the Duke of Richmond.

____________________
1
[Jean Baptiste was born at Aix, in Provence, in 1684; his father was of a noble family of Ecluse, in Flanders, but had settled at Aix in 1683. D'Argenville, Abbé de Fontenai.—W.]
2
[Charles André.—W.]
3
See more of him in Cibber's Apology for his own life.

-330-

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