Hugh Howard, Portrait Painter

(b. 1675, d. 1737)

Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Hugh Howard. Mezzotint, by John Faber, after Michael Dahl.

Was born in Dublin on 7th February, 1675, the eldest son of Ralph Howard, M.D., President of the College of Physicians in 1674, and Katherine, daughter of Roger Sotheby, M.P. for Wicklow. In 1697 he accompanied Thomas Earl of Pembroke on his travels through Holland and Italy, and during the time he spent abroad he studied drawing and painting for which he had previously shown some talent. Returning in 1700 he spent several years in Dublin practising as a portrait painter. Later he settled in London, and on his marriage in 1714 to Thomasina, daughter and heiress of General Thomas Langston, and his appointment the same year as Keeper of the State Papers, he abandoned the practice of his art. In 1726 he was made Paymaster or the Royal Palaces. He died in Pall Mall on 17th March, 1737, and was buried at Richmond. Howard made a valuable collection of books, prints and medals which he bequeathed to his brother Robert, Bishop of Elphin, the father of Ralph, 1st Viscount Wicklow. Portion of this collection came into the possession of the British Museum, and the remainder was sold in 1853 and subsequently. Twenty-two drawings by, or ascribed to, Howard were purchased by the Museum from the Earl of Wicklow in 1874. A portrait by him of "John Bagford," the collector of books and prints, is in the Bodleian Library; and one of "Arcangelo Corelli," the collector and musician, is in the Examination Schools at Oxford. This was engraved in line by Vandergucht. Another portrait of Corelli was engraved in mezzotint by J. R. Smith. There is an etching by Howard, "Padre Resta," after Carlo Maratti. His portrait, painted by M. Dahl, was engraved in mezzotint by John Faber.

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