Thomas Clarke, Portrait Painter

(d. 1775)

Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Ireland. He entered the drawing school of the Dublin Society as a pupil in 1765, and in 1767 exhibited three portraits with the Society of Artists in William Street. In the following year he went to London and, on the introduction of Oliver Goldsmith, was taken into the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Although he drew well, particularly the head, he had but little aptitude for painting, and was deficient in the sense of colour; so that he proved of little use to Reynolds, and soon left his studio. He exhibited portraits in the Royal Academy in 1769, 1770, and 1775. Badly equipped as an artist, his chances of success were still further hampered by his irregular habits; he fell into difficulties, and an early death terminated his short career in 1775.

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