WOOD, MATTHEW

(b. about 1813, d. 1855)

Portrait and Subject Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born about 1813. He resided at No. 1 George's Place, and exhibited portraits at the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1826 to 1838. In the latter year he left Dublin, and took up his residence in London, where he held a clerkship in the General Post Office. He continued to exhibit at the Royal Hibernian Academy until 1852, and contributed to the London Academy from 1840 to 1855. Besides portraits he painted rural and domestic subjects, such as "Bashfulness, an Irishman's Failing" (R.H.A., 1845), "A Kerry Peasant's Child" (R.A., 1845, and R.H.A., 1846), "An Irish Cabin Door" (R.A., 1848).

Wood was an enthusiastic student of art, spending all the time he could spare from his official duties in painting, and he was a favourite with his brother artists in London. He acted for some years as agent for the Royal Hibernian Academy in procuring pictures in London for its annual exhibitions. He was found dead in his bed in his house, No. 3 St. John's Wood Road, on 4th September, 1855. A coroner's jury found he had committed suicide by means of prussic acid. The disappointment in not obtaining promotion to a post in his office which he had held temporarily for six months, preyed upon his mind, and was the cause of his self-inflicted death.

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