Henry Brooke, Historical Painter

(b. 1738, d. 1806)

Historical Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was son of Robert Brooke (q.v.), and was born in Dublin in 1738. He probably learned his art under his father, but of his early career in Dublin nothing is known. In 1761 he went to London where an exhibition of his pictures, chiefly of historical subjects, brought him both fame and money. He remained in London until 1767 when he married and settled in Dublin, and appears to have relinquished the practice of his profession. An unfortunate speculation, however, obliged him to resume painting, and we find him in 1770 established in Stafford Street as a drawing-master. In that year he exhibited "The Raising of Lazarus" at the Society of Artists in William Street, and obtained the premium of fifteen pounds from the Dublin Society "for the second best History Piece." In 1772 he gained the first premium of thirty pounds. He continued to exhibit at the Society of Artists until 1780, most of his pictures being of religious or biblical subjects. He is said also to have done a number of altar-pieces for Roman Catholic churches. In 1776 he sent, from Mary Street, a classical subject to the Society of Artists in London. His portrait of his uncle, Henry Brooke, was engraved by G. Pye in 1821 for "Effigies Poeticae," and, anonymously, for "Brookiana," vol. i, 1804; and also, bust only, by R. Clamp for Harding's "Biographical Mirror," 1783. Brooke died in Dublin in 1806.

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