WILSON, JOSEPH

(fl. 1770-1800)

Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He was practising in Belfast towards the latter end of the eighteenth century, and also in Dublin; and is the earliest artist of note in Belfast of whom there is any record. He was probably the "Wilson, Mary's Abbey," Dublin, who had three portraits at the exhibition of the Society of Artists in William Street in 1777. His widow, Jane, died in Charlemont Street, Dublin, in May, 1804. Several portraits by him are known, including "Daniel Blow," "Henry Benson, actor," and three small oval portraits on panel belonging to Mr. J. F. Bigger, Ardrie, Belfast, of "J. Magee," "William Magee" and "Mrs. Magee." A "Portrait of a Lady" belongs to Dr. Hyndman. A volume of "Miscellaneous Tracts" by Amyas Griffith, surveyor, of Belfast, published in Dublin in 1788 (2nd edition, 1789), has an engraved portrait of the author as frontispiece, J. Wilson Pixt. This is apparently the engraving advertised in the "Belfast Mercury or Freeman's Chronicle," 13th January, 1786, as "From the original Drawing by Joseph Wilson of Belfast, Portrait Painter," and "sold by all the Booksellers in Belfast, Lisburn, Newry, Armagh, Strabane, Derry, Coleraine and Downpatrick."

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