Robert Fagan, Amateur Portrait Painter

(b. about 1745, d. 1816)

Amateur Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Cork about 1745. For many years he resided in Rome, where he studied art and painted as an amateur. Between 1794 and 1798 he collected works of art and obtained some of the best pictures from the Altieri collection, including Claude's "Landing of Æneas" and "The Sacrifice of Apollo." These pictures, known as the Altieri Claudes, he succeeded in taking to England during the French occupation of Rome in 1799. They became the property of Beckford, and were afterwards in the Leigh Court collection sold in 1883. Fagan sent from Rome to the Royal Academy in 1793 a "Portrait of Lady Malden"; in 1812 he exhibited "Sarah and Jeffrey, children of Lord Amherst," painted at Palermo, and engraved in mezzotint by R. Dunkarton; in 1815 a "Portrait of Lady Acton and her Children," and in 1816 a "Portrait of Captain Clifford." A portrait of "Elizabeth, Lady Holland" by him is in Holland House. Early in the nineteenth century Fagan was appointed Consul-General for Sicily and Palermo, and resided in Naples between 1812 and 1813. He died in Rome on 26th August, 1816. He was grandfather of Louis A. Fagan, assistant in the Print Room of the British Museum, an etcher and a writer on art, who died in 1903.

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