BERMINGHAM, NATHANIEL

(fl. c. 1774)

Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He was apprenticed to a herald-painter in Dublin, and afterwards was noted for his small portraits and coats of arms cut in paper or vellum, finished in pencil or colour, which found their way into the "cabinets of the curious." Although he was well paid for his work he did not find sufficient employment, and therefore went to London, In 1774 he exhibited five of his works at the Society of Artists, a "Portrait of the Duke of Gloucester cut in paper in an entirely new manner," three "Heads after Raphael," and "A Cock." His address was then "At Mr. Kelly's, the Cane Shop, near Temple Bar." His name does not appear afterwards. Mrs. Pilkington describes him as "a most ugly, squinting, mean-looking fellow, whose good clothes made his awkwardness but the more conspicuous, ... his mind was portrayed in his countenance, where impudence and ignorance seemed to vie for pre-eminence." She mentions "Dr. Swift's head engraved on vellum, not in size much larger than a small locket," and his "fine mantlings, cut, in which he could quickly insert the arms." ("Memoirs of Mrs. Laetitia Pilkington, written by Herself," Dublin, 1776; vol. ii, p. 171.)

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