George Gaven, Portrait Painter

(fl. 1760-1775)

Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was trained in the Dublin Society's Drawing School under Robert West, and was a prize-winner in 1756 and 1760. He afterwards practised in Dublin as a portrait painter in chalks, and also as a drawing-master, and resided in Queen Street, Oxmantown. In or about 1770 he did a portrait of John Ponsonby, ex-Speaker of the House of Commons, which was to have been engraved in mezzotint by John Dixon, but was actually done by J. Gainer. The print bears the inscription: Engrav'd by J. Gainer, under the inspection of J. Dixon. The following advertisement concerning its publication was issued by Gaven in May, 1772: "Mr. Gaven begs leave to acquaint his subscribers for the mezzotint print of the Rt. Hon. John Ponsonby, late Speaker, that they are arrived from London and may be had of him at Mr. Putland's in Mary Street. N.B.— The long indisposition of Mr. Dixon prevented the publication of this at the time proposed." Gaven contributed portraits in chalks to the exhibitions of the Society of Artists in Dublin in 1771, 1772, 1773 and 1775, after which there is no further mention of him.

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