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Benjamin Robert Haydon
Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Benjamin Robert Haydon 1825

Georgiana Margaretta Zornlin (1800–1881)

National Portrait Gallery, London

(b Plymouth, 26 Jan. 1786; d London, 22 June 1846). English painter and writer, a mediocre artist but a fascinating personality. Inspired by Reynolds's Discourses, he aimed to bring a new seriousness to British art by producing historical and religious work in the Grand Manner and through them to educate and improve public taste. His life, which was punctuated by bankruptcy, imprisonment, and disputes with patrons, was a story of bombastic frustration and stubborn opposition to the establishment (particularly the Royal Academy), as he fought continuously for personal recognition and argued for the social purpose of art.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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