WILLIAMS, JOHN MICHAEL

(fl. 1760-1780)

Portrait and Scene-Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He is said to have been a pupil of Jonathan Richardson, and appears early in life to have been a scene-painter, and to have worked in 1756 for Sheridan at the Smock Alley theatre, Dublin. He subsequently practised as a portrait painter in London, and exhibited with the Society of Artists and the Free Society from 1760 to 1773. Amongst his portraits was a half-length of "Beard, the actor," and one of "Paul Whitehead." Subsequently he came to Ireland and painted many portraits there; and in 1777 he sent, from 20 Grafton Street, to the Society of Artists in William Street, a portrait of "Forde in the character of Hawthorne," and some "Caricatures in the manner of Leonardo da Vinci." He is supposed to have died about 1780. According to Redgrave, "his works were much admired in his day, but appear slight in drawing and weak, yet are not without an air of fashion."

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