WEST, SAMUEL

(b. about 1810, d. after 1867)

Portrait and Historical Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

His father, William West, was a native of Croydon, Surrey, who had commenced life as a bookseller in London, and in 1808 settled in Cork. There he carried on his business as a bookseller until 1830 when he went to Birmingham, He died in the Charter House, London, in 1854. He was the author of a "Guide to Cork," and "Fifty Years' Recollections of an Old Bookseller," and various other works. Samuel was born in Cork about 1810, and probably commenced his art training there; but early in life he went abroad and studied in Rome. He was in London in 1840, when he sent three pictures to the Royal Academy, and with few intervals he continued as an exhibitor until 1867. He also sent works to the British Institution between 1840 and 1850. In 1847 he made his only contribution to the Royal Hibernian Academy, "Portraits of the Children of Sir John McNeill," which he had exhibited in the Royal Academy the previous year, and portraits of "Sir John McNeill" and "Lady McNeill."

West painted chiefly portraits, especially groups of children; and also a few historical subjects. Amongst these latter were, "Cardinal Wolsey leaving London after his Disgrace" (R.A., 1841; B.I., 1842); "Charles I receiving instruction in Drawing from Rubens" (R.A., 1842; Cork Ex., 1852); "The Rustic Sibyl" (B.I., 1849); "Quentin Durward's first interview with the Countess of Croye" (B.I., 1850; Cork Ex., 1852); "Chaucer at the Court of Edward III" (Cork Ex., 1852). A "Portrait of Father Mathew," which belonged to the late Sir James Mathew, was engraved by W. O. Geller. In his latter years West did many copies in water-colour after the old masters. An example is in the British Museum, "L'homme au Gant," from Titian's picture in the Louvre. A wood-cut after a drawing by him of "The New Court-house, Cork," is in the "Irish Penny Journal," May, 1833. He probably died in, or soon after, 1867, when his name appears for the last time as an exhibitor in the Royal Academy.

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