Joseph Samuel Alpenny, Water-colour Painter

(b. 1787, d. 1858)

Water-colour Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

A native of the south of Ireland, born in 1787. He appears to have learned his art and begun his artistic career in London. His name first appears in 1804, when, as "J. S. Halfpenny," 59 Stafford Place, Pimlico, he was awarded a premium by the Society of Arts for a drawing; and in 1806 he was given a silver palette for a drawing of "Antinous." As "Joseph S. Halfpenny" he exhibited a portrait in the Royal Academy in 1805, and continued to exhibit each year until 1808. In 1810 he was in Waterford and, as "J. S. Halfpenny," sent two drawings to the Society of Artists in Dublin. In 1812 he was living in Dublin, at 13 St. Andrew Street, and contributed seven drawings to the exhibition of the Society of Artists in Hawkins Street. He had now changed his name to "Alpenny." He had thirty-seven drawings at the Hibernian Society's exhibition in 1815 and sixteen the following year. In 1821, when he was living at 99 Great Britain Street, he sent eighteen drawings to the exhibition in the Royal Arcade, and was one of the eleven artists who held an exhibition of water-colours in 1823. Among the works then shown by him was a drawing of "The Entrance of George IV into Dublin on 17th August, 1821." From this he did an etching, which he published himself at 99 Great Britain Street. Soon afterwards he left Dublin and established himself in London, residing at first at Kew, and afterwards at Richmond and Clapham. In 1825 he had two works in the Royal Academy—"The Ancient Irish hunting the Moose Deer," and "Fear"; and he continued as an exhibitor at intervals until 1853. "Alpenny's New Drawing Book of Rustic Figures, drawn on stone by J. Alpenny," was published by Ackermann in 1825. It contains "A Boy Fishing," "Irish Girl," "Gathering Sea-weed," and "Ellen of Erith." He died in 1858. In the National Gallery of Ireland is a water-colour portrait of Edward Hayes (q.v.) by him.

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