Adam Buck, Miniature Painter

(b. 1759, d. 1833)

Miniature Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Adam Buck. Miniature by Himself; in Victoria and Albert Museum

Was born in 1759 in Cork, the elder son of Jonathan Buck, a silversmith in Castle Street. He practised for some years in his native city, painting miniatures and small portraits in water-colours. According to Pasquin he also worked in Dublin, but he never exhibited there except once after he had left Ireland, when he sent to the Hibernian Society of Artists in 1802 a portrait drawing. In 1795 he went to London and commenced to exhibit at the Royal Academy, where he was represented for the next thirty-eight years, the year 1800 only excepted, the total number of his contributions being seventy-one. He also exhibited at the British Institution and the Society of British Artists. Buck was busily employed not only at his work as a miniature painter but as a teacher of portraiture, and in drawings of fancy figure subjects from which the now well-known and sought for stipple engravings were done. From his drawings Roberts and Stadler produced a series of coloured aquatint plates to illustrate Sterne's "Sentimental Journey." Two of the original drawings, in Indian ink, partly tinted, are in the British Museum. Buck found time to bring out a work on "Paintings on Greek Vases," containing one hundred illustrations drawn and engraved by himself. This work, now scarce, was published in 1811.

He also published a series illustrating the "Progress of Life." From 1795 to 1798 he lived at No. 174 Piccadilly, afterwards moving to Frith Street, where he remained three years, and in 1813 to Bentinck Street, which was his residence until 1820. For the remainder of his life he was unsettled, changing his address almost every year. He died at 15 Upper Seymour Street, in 1833. He was survived by his wife and his two sons, Alfred and Sidney. The latter, SIDNEY BUCK, followed his father's profession in London.

Buck's miniatures, or at least those done after he had left Cork, are of considerable merit. Two good examples are in the National Gallery of Ireland. His small full-length portraits were done either in water-colour or in wax crayons slightly tinted, "an admirable invention of his own," says Pasquin. They are generally in profile, and although often awkwardly posed and drawn, are not without a certain charm; and his figure subjects reproduced in stipple have a quaintness and a decorative quality which renders them popular. But few of the drawings for his engraved works were exhibited, and his portraits were not generally named in the catalogues. Like Cipriani and other artists of the time, he sometimes did decorative work for furniture. An example of such work is in the painted panels of a beautiful satin-wood sideboard which belonged to the late Mr. J. H. FitzHenry.

Buck's portrait painted in miniature by himself, signed and dated 1804, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum.


(a) PORTRAITS.—Drawings and Miniatures

Portrait of Himself. Miniature. Dated 1804. [Victoria and Albert Museum.]

Miss Adams. R.A., 1804.

Mrs. Ashley. Drawing. Dated 1822. Christie's, 3rd Feb., 1912.

Mrs. Bloomfield, Drawing. Christie's, 19th June, 1911. Engraved by T. Cheesman, 1803.

Mrs. Brockman and her Son. R.A., 1830.

Arthur Brown. R.A., 1820.

Mrs. Buck, wife of the artist. Miniature. R.A., 1806.

Georgina Buck and her two brothers, cousins of the artist. Drawing. Christie's, 28th Feb., 1910. R.A., 1829.

Marianne Buck, cousin of the artist. Drawing; done in 1790. Christie's, 28th Feb., 1910.

Sir Francis Burdett. R.A., 1817.

John Burke, author of the "Peerage," and his son. R.A., 1833.

Children of John Burke. R.A., 1826.

Master Burke. Miniature. Signed and dated 1815. [Victoria and Albert Museum.]

Mrs. J. Burke. R.A., 1819.

Mrs. Byrne—"Rosa Matilda." Engraved by K. MacKenzie for the "Lady's Monthly Mirror," June, 1805.

Revd. Edmund Cartwright. Lithograph by A. Buck.

Major Cartwright. R.A., 1818.

Angelica Catalani. Engraved by S. Freeman, 1807.

Richard, 7th Earl of Cavan. R.A., 1803; another in 1826.

Honora M. Countess of Cavan. R.A., 1803.

Lady Chatterton. R.A., 1826.

Mary Anne Clarke. Etched and Aquatinted by Buck.

Mary Anne Clarke. Face only. Soft ground etching by Buck.

James Cobb. Engraved by Ridley in "Monthly Mirror," Jan., 1803.

Mr. Cobbett. R.A., 1817.

Thomas, Lord Cochrane,—afterwards 10th Earl of Dundonald. R.A., 1817.

G. Connor, East India Artillery. R.A., 1811.

Amelia, Countess Cowper. R.A., 1807.

Mrs. Charles Craven and her son, R.A., 1820.

Miss Croker. Drawing. [Thomas H. Brett, Limerick, 1907.]

Edward Currie when a boy. Drawing, 1830. Christie's, 1st Dec, 1906.

Sir Frederick L. Currie, Bart., when a boy. Drawing, 1827. Christie's, 1st Dec, 1906.

Hugh Holmes Doherty. R.A., 1825.

Hugh Doherty. R.A., 1825.

Charlotte, Lady Douglas. Engraved by Middlemist.

Mrs. A. L. Edridge. R.A., 1817.

Miss Farquahar. R.A., 1804.

The Misses Fischer. Drawing, 1800. Christie's, 6th Dec, 1912.

Lord Henry Fitzgerald. Engraved by J. Mannin (q.v.), and published in Dublin.

Lord Fordwich. R.A., 1807.

Children of Judge Fullerton. R.A., 1828.

Madame Gantherst, professor of the Violin. R.A., 1806.

Esther J. Gayton, afterwards Lady Murray. R.A., 1809. Engraved by S. Freeman for "onthly Mirror," Feb., 1809.

George IV, when Prince of Wales. Engraved in Aquatint by Wright and Ziegler, 1799.

Mr. George, R.A., 1807.

Miss F. George. R.A., 1807.

Mrs. Gibbs in the character of Grace Gaylove. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler.

Lord Glenbervie. Engraved by C. S. Taylor for the "New English Magazine," 1823.

Miss Hammersley. R.A., 1830.

Mrs. and Miss Harrison. R.A., 1804.

Revd. John Haslewood. Drawing, 1803. Christie's, April, 1906.

John Cam Hobhouse. R.A., 1820.

Lt.-General Baron Hompesch. Drawing. R.A., 1808.

Misses Hope and Langston. R.A., 1810.

Mrs. Humphreys, actress. Engraved by T. Cheesman, 1808.

Henry Hunt, M.P. Drawing. [National Portrait Gallery.] Etched by A. Buck.

Henry Erskine Johnston, with Mrs. Pope, in "Romeo and Juliet." Engraved by B. Reading in Bell's "Shakespeare."

Lady Amelia Lister Kaye. [Lt.-Col. A'Court Repington, C.M.G.]

Sir John Lister Kaye. [Lt.-Col. A'Court Repington, C.M.G.]

J. P. Kemble, with Miss De Camp, in Garrick's "Catherine and Petruchio." Engraved by J. Alais, 1802.

Lady Honora Lambart, R.A., 1803.

Lady Alicia M. Lambart. R.A., 1803.

Masters Charles and Henry Lemann. R.A., 1820.

Four Ladies and two Boys of the Lockley family. Drawings. Christie's, 3rd February, 1912.

Mrs. Lowe in Ancient Greek Costume. R.A., 1810.

Sir James Lucas, R.N. Engraved by H. R. Cook.

Captain Marryat. Miniature on paper, signed and dated 1821. [Robson, Coventry Street, London, 1908.]

Miss Metcalfe. R.A., 1812.

Miss Middlemin. R.A., 1805.

Master Morrison, nephew of the Artist. Miniature. R.A., 1805.

Mrs. Mountain, singer. R.A., 1802. Engraved by T. Cheesman, 1804. Christie's, 2nd April, 1906.

Mrs. Murray. R.A., 1809.

William Noble, banker. Engraved in stipple by D. Orme.

Sir William Norie. Water-colour copy after a miniature by Williams. [National Portrait Gallery.]

Miss Orde. R.A., 1823.

Owen of Carron, figure of a Highlander. Engraved by Bate, 1808.

Master Parker, the musical child. R.A., 1799.

D. Pauncefort. R.A., 1803.

Admiral Plampin. Miniature. Signed and dated 1803. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

Mrs. Plampin. Miniature. Signed and dated 1803. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London. Chalk and water-colour on paper. [National Portrait Gallery.]

Jane Pope, actress, with her sister and niece standing at a Harpsichord. Engraved in stipple by P. Roberts.

Miss Pope. R.A., 1804.

Mrs. Pope. See under H. E. Johnston.

Madame Bertinotti Radicali in the character of Phoedra. R.A., 1811.

Master Frederick Raikes. R.A., 1824.

Part of the family of J. G. Ravenshaw, with their nurse. R.A., 1829.

Mrs. Roberts—"Angelica." Engraved by Cheesman and Lewis, 1805.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and family. R.A., 1819.

John Round, junr., and Frederick P. Round. [J. H. Round.]

Edmond Round. [J. H. Round.]

Revd. C. E. Stewart. R.A., 1809.

Hon. Mrs. Stewart. R.A., 1805.

Children of W. Turquand, of India. R.A., 1833.

E. W. Tuson, professor of Anatomy, and his family. R.A., 1832.

Miss Waddy. Engraved by T. Cheesman.

Mr. and Mrs. White and family. R,A., 1795.

Mrs. C. Wilkinson and child. R.A., 1829.

Mrs. Williams, née Buck. Drawing, 1806. Christie's, 28th February, 1910.

Captain Sir John Yeo, R.N. R.A., 1811.

Duke of York. R.A., 1804; another in 1812.

A Lady. Miniature on paper. [National Gallery of Ireland.]


Abelard. Engraved by Freeman and Stadler.

Adam and Eve; after Fuseli. Soc. B. A., 1829.

The Album. R.A., 1832.

Archers; three female figures, perhaps the Princesses Augusta, Sophia and Amelia, daughters of George III. Engraved by Wright and Ziegler.

Archness. B.I., 1808.

Bacchanalians. A sketch. R.A., 1832.

Belvidera. Engraved by Roberts, 1801.

Brother and sister. Engraved by A. Cooper, 1803.

Brother and sister. B.I., 1808.

Burns at the grave of his father. Engraved by Bate, 1808.

The little Busybody. Engraved by S. Freeman.

Caledonia in a Reel. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler, 1801.

Cambria in a Country-dance. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler, 1801.

Carelessness. B.I., 1808.

The Casket. Engraved by Freeman and Bluck.

Charity. Engraved by T. Williamson, 1808.

The Charmers. Engraved by C. Knight.

Come, Father's Hope. Engraved by M. Bate.

The Darling asleep. Engraved by S. Freeman.

The Darling awake. Engraved by S. Freeman.

The Darling dancing. Engraved by S. Freeman.

Eloisa. Engraved by Freeman and Stadler.

The Father's Darling. Engraved by S. Freeman and J. C. Stadler.

Filial Attention. Engraved by H. Meyer.

First Steps in Life. Engraved by S. Freeman.

The Four Seasons. Engraved by P. Roberts.

Helena. Engraved by W. Platt.

Hibernia in a Jig. Engraved by P. Roberts and J. C. Stadler, 1801.

Hope. Engraved by T. Williamson, 1808.

I have learnt my book, Mamma.

I will have a Kiss. Engraved by P. Roberts and J. C Stadler, 1800.

Give me a Kiss. Engraved by P. Roberts and J. C. Stadler, 1800.

An Irish Girl. Reproduced in the "Connoisseur," August, 1910.

Jessica. Engraved by T. Reeve.

The Key. B.I., 1808.

Mamma at Romps. Engraved by M. N. Bate.

Mamma, let me not beg in vain. Engraved by M. N. Bate, 1808.

Maternal Instruction. Engraved by H. Meyer.

Matins. Engraved by Platt and Stadler.

Minuet á l'Anglaise. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler, 1816.

Minuet á la Francaise. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler, 1816.

Mother's Hope. Engraved by S. Freeman.

Mother's Pet. Engraved by Freeman and Stadler.

My dear little Shock you must have a dip. Engraved by Agar and Bluck.

A Nymph. Engraved by Platt and Stadler.

The Origin of Painting. R.A., 1802; B.I., 1808.

Olivia Primrose. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler.

The Pretty Story. Engraved by Thielke.

Psyche at the couch of Cupid. R.A., 1809. Engraved by Agar and Bluck.

Paul and Virginia. Engraved by P. Roberts and J. C. Stadler.

The Quarrel. Engraved by S. Freeman.

The Reconciliation. Engraved by S. Freeman.

Ride-a-cock-horse. Drawing. Ex. Grafton Gallery, 1895, by Colonel Harold Malet.

A Roman Lady prepared for the Bath. R.A., 1808.

Savoyards. Engraved by Wright and Ziegler.

The Sisters. Engraved by R. Cooper, 1803.

Sketching. Soc. B.A., 1829.

Spring. Engraved by Platt and Lewis.

Step by Step. Engraved by S. Freeman.

Sophia Western. Engraved by Roberts and Stadler.

Swinging. Engraved by Roberts.

Tamburina. Engraved by Wright and Ziegler, 1799.

Triangulina. Engraved by Wright and Ziegler, 1799.

A Venetian Lady and her daughter. R.A., 1813.

Venus. Engraved by Roberts and Ziegler.

Vespers. Engraved by Platt and Lewis.

What's that, Mother. Engraved by Agar and Bluck, 1808.

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