DANBY, THOMAS, R.H.A.

(b. 1817 or 1818, d. 1886)

Landscape Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Bristol in 1817 or 1818, the second son of Francis Danby (q.v.). He accompanied his father to the continent in 1829, and studied in the Louvre with such advantage that when only thirteen years of age he was able to earn a livelihood by making copies of the pictures there. He was deeply impressed with the works of Claude, whose aerial effects had an influence on his future work. Returning to England with his father in 1841 he began to exhibit, sending to the British Institution in that year a small oil picture, "A Wreck from Nature." This was followed by numerous other works at the same Gallery and at the Academy, where he first appeared in 1843. His early works were in oil, but he found his true vocation as a painter in water-colours. In 1867 he was elected an Associate of the old Water-colour Society, and in 1870 became a full Member. He contributed in all 233 works to the exhibitions held by that body. On the enlargement of the membership of the Royal Hibernian Academy his name was included as a Member in the new Charter in 1860. He died on the 25th March, 1886.

Thomas Danby was an accomplished painter, harmonious in his colouring, and full of feeling; though his art was mannered and his range limited. He confined himself almost entirely to mountain and lake scenery in Wales, treated with a sameness of colour scheme and arrangement which in its lack of variety became monotonous. Four pictures by him are in the Victoria and Albert Museum: "Escape of Mary Queen of Scots from Loch Leven," signed and dated 1864; "Lake and Mountain scene with a boy fishing;" "Mountain scene in Wales, figures hauling in a net from a lake," and "Mountain scene and stream." Danby was married twice; first to a daughter of Mr. Williams, landlord of the Inn at Capel Curig, where he always stayed, and secondly to a teacher of music. He resided, from 1855, at Hampstead.

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