Matthew Kendrick, Marine Painter

(b. about 1797, d. 1874)

Marine Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Matthew Kendrick. Picture, by Richard Rothwell; in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Was son of an official holding a small appointment in the Customs, and was born in Dublin about 1797. In early life he made a voyage in a merchant ship with the object of qualifying himself for an appointment under the Ballast Board. He was entrusted to the care of the captain of the vessel, a friend of his family, but received such rough treatment at his hands that he left the cabin and worked with the crew before the mast. He continued at sea for a time on a Newfoundland fishing vessel, and then returned to Ireland. The experience and knowledge of seamanship he had acquired made his services sought for by yachting men in Dublin, who employed him in sailing their boats in matches, and he was looked upon as one of the most expert yacht sailors of his day. Having always a bent for art he entered the Dublin Society's School in 1825 and adopted the profession of a painter of marine subjects.

He began to exhibit in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1827, and was a constant contributor of marine drawings and pictures until 1872. He was elected an Associate on the 24th October, 1832, and a Member on 16th February, 1850, and on the same day was appointed Keeper, a post he held until 1866. For some years, from about 1840 to 1848, he resided in London, and exhibited a few sea-pieces in the Royal Academy, the British Institution and the Society of British Artists. About 1872 he fell into ill-health, and lost the use of his right hand through paralysis, and leaving Dublin he passed the two remaining years of his life in London. He died on the 1st of November, 1874, at 61 Edbrooke Road, St. Peter's Park, London, aged 77. He was survived by his wife, who was French, and two sons; but, although his pictures had been popular, he was able to make but little provision for his family. His picture, "The Departure of the Queen and the Royal Squadron from Kingstown," was purchased by Queen Victoria, and was engraved, with a Key, by C. Mottram, and published in Dublin by Cranfield in 1852. The Royal Irish Art Union purchased in 1841 his "Dublin Bay Light-house" for thirty-six pounds, and, in 1847, his "Great Britain Steamer on shore in Dundrum Bay," for sixty pounds. This was lithographed by J. H. Burgess.

A portrait of Kendrick by Richard Rothwell is in the National Gallery of Ireland.

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