ROBERTS, THOMAS SAUTELLE, R.H.A.

(b. about 1760, d. 1826)

Landscape Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

A younger brother of Thomas Roberts (q.v.), being a son of John Roberts, architect, and Mary Susanna Sautelle, he was born in Waterford about 1760. He became a pupil in the Dublin Society's Schools in 1777 and won a medal there in 1779. Intended for an architect he was apprenticed to Thomas Ivory, the architect of the Blue-coat School and other buildings in Dublin; but on the expiration of his term his tastes, and perhaps also the success of his brother, led him to abandon architecture and become a painter. He went to London and there spent some years. He returned to Ireland about 1799 and settled in Dublin, but for some years he made occasional visits to London. He exhibited both Irish and English views in the Royal Academy from 1789 to 1811, and again in 1818, and at the British Institution from 1807 to 1818. His earlier works were in water-colour and he occupied himself in painting views of Irish scenery and buildings, many of which he had engraved in aquatint. These were published, both coloured and uncoloured, at intervals as part of a series, projected but not completed, of "Illustrations of the Chief Cities, Rivers and Picturesque Scenery of the Kingdom of Ireland."

His first appearance as an exhibitor in Dublin was in 1800, when he sent fifteen works to the Society of Artists' exhibition in Dame Street, and he contributed to most of the subsequent exhibitions down to 1821. A notice in the Dublin "Monthly Museum" in 1814 of the exhibition held that year comments on "the undeviating hardness of Roberts' pencil. His trees all resemble the stone fretwork of a Gothic cathedral." Besides landscapes, both in oil and water-colour, Roberts painted small portraits of horses, and in the exhibition of 1801 these were much praised. For the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Hardwicke, and for the Chief Secretary, Charles Abbott, he painted a number of landscapes, chiefly views of Wicklow scenery, and he held an exhibition of them in January, 1802. On the foundation of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1823, Roberts was one of the three artists chosen to select the first members of that body, and at its first exhibition in 1826 five works in oil and two in water-colour by him appeared. He did not, however, live to exhibit again. A few years previously whilst journeying from London the coach in which he was travelling upset, and he received an injury to his right shoulder which had the effect of preventing the use of his hand and incapacitating him from following his profession. He bore his affliction for some time, but as he found all hopes of recovery were vain he fell into a state of melancholy and nervous debility, and finally he terminated his own life in his house in Richmond Street, Portobello, in 1826.

Roberts was ardently and enthusiastically devoted to his profession, and enjoyed the esteem and friendship of his fellow-artists, particularly of William Cuming and John Comerford, the latter often adding the figures to his landscapes. He was of somewhat eccentric disposition, sometimes free and communicative in his manner, sometimes sombre and depressed. He is described as of dark complexion, of middle height and stoutly built. "There was something clerical in his appearance, arising partly from his dress and also from an almost gravity of deportment which, added to an unusually deep-toned voice, gave him in a first interview an air of reserve. But he really was not so. He was full of playfulness and remarkably benevolent" ("The Citizen," November, 1841). In his will he left small annuities to the youngest child of several of his nephews and nieces, as he considered that he as a younger child had suffered from neglect. His wife, Hannah, daughter of Thomas Stephens, a merchant in Waterford, whom he married in 1799, survived him. She at her death bequeathed six of her husband's pictures to the Royal Hibernian Academy.

MISS ROBERTS, his sister, painted landscapes, and also did some scenery for the Waterford Theatre. A brother, the Rev. John Roberts, was father of Sir Abraham Roberts and grandfather of Field Marshal Earl Roberts.

Thomas Sautelle Roberts' works include:

Landscape — ? near Leixlip. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

A View in the Dargle. Five pictures with this title in R.A., 1805, 1806, 1808, 1811 and 1818.

A Mill at Ambleside. B.I., 1816. [Royal Hibernian Academy.]

Mills at Watford. [Royal Hibernian Academy.]

The Falls at Lodore. B.I., 1816. [Royal Hibernian Academy.]

Vale of Arklow; a shower passing off. [Royal Hibernian Academy.]

The Salmon Leap, Leixlip. [Royal Hibernian Academy.]

Scene in the Dargle. [Royal Hibernian Academy.] All (foregoing 6) bequeathed by the artist's widow.

The Dargle. R.A., 1803. Engraved in aquatint by Sutherland, 1803.

The Salmon Leap, Leixlip. [Duke of Leinster, Carton.]

The Meeting of the Waters. Engraved in aquatint by F. C. Lewis, 1804.

The Lake of Luggelaw. Engraved in aquatint by F. C. Lewis, 1803.

Military Roads, Co. Wicklow. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken.

Castle of Oldcourt, Co. Wicklow. Engraved in aquatint by Sutherland, 1805.

View of the Devil's Glen, Co. Wicklow. R.A., 1805.

A Rebel Retreat in the Devil's Glen; General Holt is represented as appointing his evening guards. R.A., 1806; B.I., 1808.

View of Vinegar Hill. R.A., 1803.

Sugar Loaf Hill. B.I., 1808.

View of the Gold Mines, Co. Wicklow. R.A., 1803.

View of the Gold Mines, Co. Wicklow. Ex. Dublin, 1802. One of these was engraved in aquatint by J. Bluck, 1804.

View of Kilruddery. R.A., 1803.

View taken from the Earl of Meath's Park, R.A., 1806.

Bray Head. R.A., 1806.

View near the town of Bray. R.A., 1803.

View from the Commons of Bray. R.A., 1803.

The Commons of Bray, R.A., 1804; Ex. Dublin, 1812.

View of Lord Powerscourt's Park. R.A., 1791.

View at the back of Lord Powerscourt's Demesne. R.A., 1804.

Powerscourt Waterfall. Ex. Dublin, 1802. Engraved in aquatint by J. Bluck, 1804.

View near Powerscourt, with a portrait of Captain Taylor of the Engineers by J. Comerford. Ex. Dublin, 1802.

View in the Valley of Glencree, with portrait of the Earl of Hardwicke, Lord Lieutenant, by J. Comerford. Ex. Dublin, 1802.

An Irish Hut, Co. Wicklow. R.A., 1803.

Lismore Castle. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken, 1795.

Dunbrody Abbey. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken, 1796.

Kilkenny Castle. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken, 1796.

Blarney Castle. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken, 1796.

Drumana. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken, 1796.

Lower Glanmire. Engraved in aquatint by S. Aiken, 1796.

Blackrock Castle. Engraved in aquatint by J. W. Edy.

Carrick Castle. Engraved in aquatint by J. W. Edy, 1796.

View near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. Engraved in aquatint by Tomkins, 1803.

Castle of Oldcourt, Co. Wicklow. Engraved in aquatint by Sutherland, 1805.

St. John's Abbey, Kilkenny. Drawing. [Victoria and Albert Museum.]

Carlow Castle. R.A., 1796.

Granagh Castle, near Waterford. R.A., 1799.

Entrance to Waterford Harbour. R.A., 1796. Engraved by J. W. Edy, 1796.

East View of the City of Waterford, Engraved by S. Aiken, 1795.

West View of the City of Waterford. Engraved by J. W. Edy, 1795.

View of the City of Cork. R.A., 1799. Engraved by S. Aiken, 1799.

Four Views of Lucan Scenery. (Perhaps by his brother). [Lucan House.]

View of Palmerston House. [Rt. Hon. L. A. Waldron, Marino, Ballybrack.]

Killiney Bay. Engraved in aquatint by W. Pickett, 1802.

The Town of Howth, with part of Dublin Bay. R.A., 1806.

A Mill at Beggar's Bush. R.A., 1804.

View of Dublin from the Phoenix Park. Ex. Dublin, 1800.

View of Dublin, taken near the Four Courts. Engraved in aquatint.

View of Dublin, taken near the Custom House. Engraved in aquatint by R. Havell, 1817.

St. Patrick's Cathedral. R.A., 1805.

The Castle, Dublin. Ex. Dublin, 1815. Engraved in aquatint by R. Havell and Son, 1816.

A View of the New Four Courts and remains of Coal Quay Bridge. Ex. Dublin, 1804, (and ? another with same title). R.A., 1805. Engraved in aquatint by J. Bluck, 1807, and entitled "A South View of the River Liffey, taken from the Coal Quay or Fruit Market."

The New Post Office, Sackville Street. Engraved in aquatint by R. Havell, 1818.

College Green. Engraved in aquatint by R. Havell and Son, 1816.

A View of College Green and Westmoreland Street, part of Sackville Street and Carlisle Bridge, from near the Provost's House, Grafton Street. R.A., 1806. Engraved in aquatint by J. Bluck, 1807.

View of the House of Lords and adjacent buildings, taken from the south side of Carlisle Bridge. Ex. Dublin, 1802. Waterloo Bridge, London. Engraved in aquatint by R. Havell.

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