Thomas Clement Thompson, Portrait Painter

(b. about 1780, d. 1857)

Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Thomas Clement Thompson, R.H.A. Picture, by Himself; in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Was born about 1780, and was probably a native of Belfast. He was admitted to the Dublin Society's drawing schools in 1796, and after going through his course started as a miniature painter in Belfast and Dublin. In 1801 he sent, from 17 Sackville Street, seven miniatures to the exhibition in the Parliament House, and eight the year following. An advertisement in "Saunders' Newsletter" in October, 1802, says: "Mr. Thompson, miniature painter, having returned from the north informs his friends and the public that he is now ready to attend their commands as usual." In 1803 he was in Belfast, but for the next few years nothing is heard of him. In the interval he abandoned miniature painting, in which he had imitated the style of Comerford, and henceforth confined himself to portrait painting in oil. In 1809 he again appeared as an exhibitor, sending from Belfast a portrait in oil to the exhibition in Hawkins Street. In the following year he settled in Dublin where he acquired a good practice, painting many persons of distinction, and was a regular exhibitor in the Dublin Artists' Exhibitions until 1821.

He contributed as many as fifteen portraits to the exhibition in Hawkins Street in 1816, and in that year and in 1817 sent portraits to the London Academy. In 1817 he went to London and did not return to Ireland except for occasional visits. On the foundation of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1823 he was elected one of the original Members, and he contributed to its exhibitions, though not regularly, down to 1854. He resigned his Membership in 1856 and was then made an Honorary Member. In London he resided for many years at 76 Welbeck Street, and about 1848 went to Cheltenham where he remained for the rest of his life. From the time of his first appearance at the Royal Academy he was a frequent exhibitor down to 1847, and also contributed to the British Institution. He appears to have had a good practice and had many persons of note as sitters.

His portraits are carefully done, the drapery well painted, but the drawing, especially in the arms of his female figures, is defective and his flesh painting raw and unpleasant. He died of chronic bronchitis at his residence, 18 Cambray Place, Cheltenham, on 11th February, 1857, aged 79 years. His portrait by himself in the National Gallery of Ireland represents him, palette in hand, before an easel on which is his portrait of George IV.

Portrait of Himself. [National Gallery, Dublin.]

Portrait of his Grandchildren. R.A., 1847; his last picture exhibited there.

Rev. Richard Allot, Dean of Raphoe. R.A., 1818; R.H.A., 1832.

Marquess of Anglesey and Sir Charles Paget. R.A., 1823; R.H.A., 1828.

Dr. Armstrong. Ex. Hawkins Street, 1821.

Michael Banim. [National Gallery, Dublin.]

Rt. Hon. Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, Bart. R.A., 1818. Another picture, R.A., 1823.

Rev. H. Blunt, of Streatham. Soc. B.A., 1839.

Theophilus Bolton. R.H.A., 1835.

Rev. Charles Boyton. R.H.A., 1829; R.A., 1830. Presumably two pictures. One was engraved in 1833 by D. Lucas.

Sir Stewart Bruce. Hib. Soc. Artists, 1814.

Wm. Bruce. [Mrs. Wm. Bruce, 9 Airlie Gardens, London.]

William Bruce, D.D., Principal of the Belfast Academy. [Linen Hall Library, Belfast.] R.A., 1870. Engraved in mezzotint by T. Hodgetts, 1819. Probably a replica of above.

Lt.-General Sir John Buchan. R.A., 1844.

Professor Wm. Buckland. R.A., 1845. A copy by Ayerst Hooker, done in 1894, is in the Oxford University Museum.

Hon. Charles Butler. Ex. Hawkins Street, 1819.

Hon. James Butler. Ex. Hawkins Street, 1819; R.A., 1818.

Thomas Campbell, the Poet. Painted in 1833. [Octavius Blewett, 1868.] R.A., 1834. Engraved by W. O. Geller in 1847.

John, 6th Lord Carbery. Engraved by R. Grave in "Memoirs of the Family of Grace," 1825.

Earl of Carrick. Soc. B.A., 1824; R.H.A., 1826.

Anne, Countess of Carrick, and her daughter, Lady Sarah Butler, R.A., 1819.

Sir Thomas Chapman, Bart. Ex. Hawkins Street, 1815.

Marquess of Cholmondeley. R.A., 1820. Also other portraits in 1832 and 1837.

Mrs. Christmas. R.A., 1843.

Henry Samuel Close. R.H.A., 1829.

Mrs. Cope. R.A., 1830.

William Cuming, painter. R.A., 1827; R.H.A., 1828.

John, 2nd Earl of Desart. [Earl of Desart, Desart Court, Kilkenny.] R.A., 1819.

Catherine, Countess of Desart. [Earl of Desart, Desart Court, Kilkenny.] R.A., 1819.

Major-General Sir Charles Doyle. R.H.A., 1832.

Miss Sylvia Doyle. Soc. B.A., 1832.

Rev. Thomas Drew, D.D. R.H.A., 1852.

Samuel Drummond. R.A., 1832.

G. V. Drury, of Shotover Park. R.A., 1845.

Mrs. Drury. R.A., 1845.

Lord Dungarvan. R.H.A., 1829.

Mrs. Elrington, formerly Miss Charlotte Townshend. [Victoria and Albert Museum.] R.A., 1824.

Rev. Maurice Fenwick. R.H.A., 1841.

Mrs. Fenwick. R.H.A., 1841.

Arthur, Earl of Fingal. Irish Society of Artists, 1813. Engraved by Charles Turner, 1816.

Arthur, Earl of Fingal. R.A., 1818. Ex. Royal Arcade, Dublin, 1821.

George IV. R.A., 1826. Engraved by C. Turner, 1826.

Sir C. L. Giesecke. R.A., 1817.

Pryce L. Gordon. R.A., 1842.

Charles, 2nd Viscount Gort. R.A., 1825; R.H.A., 1826.

Charles Grant, afterwards Lord Glenelg. R.A., 1819. Engraved by C. Turner, 1820.

Lady Grant. R.A., 1836.

Richard Wilson Greene, Solicitor-General. R.H.A., 1844.

Miss Fanny Gwynne. R.A., 1846.

William Hammond. R.A., 1820.

Dudley Ryder, 2nd Earl of Harrowby.—See Lord Sandon.

Dr. William Harty. R.H.A., 1827.

Joseph Henry. R.H.A., 1842.

Lord Arthur Hill. R.A., 1821. Lithographed by M. Gauci.

Lord Howden. R.A., 1823.

Hon. Percy Jocelyn, Bishop of Clogher. R.A., 1821.

Francis Johnston, architect. [Colonel Johnston, Kilmore, Richhill, Co. Armagh.] Engraved by H. Meyer.

Mrs. Francis Johnston. [Colonel Johnston, Kilmore, Richhill.]

Mr. and Mrs. Johnston. R.H.A., 1827.

The Knight of Kerry. Soc. B.A., 1824.

Sir Edward Lees. R.A., 1822. R.H.A., 1826 and 1829.

Lady Lees. R.A., 1823. R.H.A., 1826, 1827 and 1829.

Rev. Sir Harcourt Lees. R.H.A., 1826. This, or perhaps another, picture was engraved by H. Meyer in 1824.

Lady Lees and son. R.H.A., 1828.

Augustus F., 3rd Duke of Leinster. Hib. Soc. Artists, 1814.

Viscount Lorton. Soc. B.A., 1824.

Mrs. Maberley. R.H.A., 1842.

John McCance, M.P. for Belfast. [S. McCance, 3 Markham Square, London.]

Thomas McKenny, alderman. Painted in 1819; engraved by C. Turner.

Mrs. Shelton McKenzie. R.A., 1846.

Hugh McNeill, D.D., Dean of Ripon. R,A., 1840. Engraved in mezzotint by H. Cousins, 1838, with title, "Expounding the Scriptures."

Lord Manners, Lord Chancellor. R.A., 1825; R.H.A., 1827. Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, 1826.

Lady Manners. R.H.A., 1826.

John, 10th Earl of Meath. [Earl of Meath, Kilruddery.] R.H.A., 1827.

J. De Michelle, professor of music. R.A., 1832.

Don Guillemn Miller, general in Peruvian army. R.A., 1827.

Rev. Henry Montgomery, of the Royal Institution, Belfast. Soc. B.A., 1832.

Mrs. Montgomery. Soc. B.A., 1832.

Rev. John Moody, D.D. Hawkins Street, 1812. Engraved; the print published by the painter in Lower Sackville Street.

L. M. Mosley, in his 80th year. R.A., 1840.

Sir Charles Napier. R.H.A., 1850.

Sir John Newport, Bart. R.A., 1819; Soc. B.A., 1832.

Mrs. Nicholl. R.H.A., 1826.

Eliza O'Neill, actress, afterwards Lady Becher. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

Charles, 1st Earl O'Neill, K.P. R.A., 1822; R.H.A., 1826.

John, Earl of Ossory, afterwards 2nd Marquess of Ormonde. R.A., 1833; R.H.A., 1835.

J. R. Parker. Soc. B.A., 1839.

Rev. Saxby Penfold. R.A., 1828.

Henry Philpots, Bishop of Exeter. R.A., 1838.

Hon. Richard Ponsonby, as Dean of St. Patrick's. Ex. Royal Arcade, 1821.

Hon. Richard Ponsonby, as Bishop of Derry. R.A., 1835.

Mrs. Ponsonby. Ex. Royal Arcade, 1821.

Hon. Mrs. Ponsonby. R.H.A., 1826.

Rev. William Porter. [Sir Andrew M. Porter, Donnycarney House, Co. Dublin.]

William Read. R.A., 1821.

Rt. Hon. Thomas Spring Rice, afterwards 1st Lord Monteagle. R.A., 1834.

Earl of Rocksavage. R.A., 1819.

Rev. Martin Joseph Routh. [Magdalen College, Oxford.] R.A., 1843. Engraved in mezzotint by D. Lucas, 1843. A copy, or replica, dated 1851, is in the Bodleian Library.

Master George Routh. Engraved by D. Lucas, 1843.

Viscount Sandon. R.A., 1835. Engraved by T. Hodgetts, 1837.

Richard Clarke Sewell. R.A., 1842.

Sir Frederick Shaw, Recorder of Dublin. R.A., 1837; R.H.A., 1841.

Evelyn Phillip Shirley. R.A., 1841.

Henry, Viscount Sidmouth. R.A., 1822. Engraved by S. Cousins and S. W. Reynolds, 1823.

Major Sirr. R.H.A., 1826.

Captain Skinner, R.N. R.H.A., 1827.

Henry Smith. R.A., 1820.

The Masters Smith. R.A., 1823.

Arthur Smyth. R.H.A., 1840.

Mrs. Arthur Smyth. R.H.A., 1840.

Hamilton Smyth, LL.B. R.H.A., 1842.

Nathaniel Stonnard. R.A., 1820.

Rev. Hugh Stowell. R.A., 1841.

Sir James M. Stronge, 2nd Bart., in uniform of Lt.-Col. of Tyrone Militia. [Sir James Stronge, Bart., Tynan Abbey.] Dublin, 1810.

Helen, Lady Stronge, widow of 1st Bart., and her son, by her second marriage, Thomas Knox Holmes. [Sir James Stronge, Bart., Tynan Abbey.] Ex. Dublin, 1810.

Rev. F. Tackabury. R.H.A., 1827.

Charles, 2nd Earl Talbot, Lord Lieutenant, in robes of the Order of St. Patrick, and his page, the Hon. John Talbot. R.A., 1820; afterwards exhibited in Allen's rooms, Dame Street, for the purpose of obtaining subscriptions towards engraving it. Engraved in 1821 by S. W. Reynolds; dedicated by the painter to the Knights of St. Patrick, and published in 1822. A portrait, apparently the same, in Soc. B.A., 1832.

Marquess of Thomond. R.A., 1824.

David Thompson. R.H.A., 1829.

William Townsend, of Ardwick, Manchester. R.H.A., 1829.

John T. Troy, Archbp. of Dublin. Painted in 1821. [National Gallery of Ireland.] Sold by the artist's widow to Canon Lee, the grand-nephew of the Archbishop, and presented by him to the National Gallery of Ireland in 1883. Engraved by H. Meyer, 1823.

General Vallancey. Soc. Artists, Dublin, 1811.

Professor Von Feinagle. Soc. Artists, Dublin, 1813.

Rev. Holt Waring. R.H.A., 1829.

The Misses Waring. R.A., 1824.

Miss Caroline Wigston. R.A., 1822.

Master Williams. R.H.A., 1828.

Major-Gen. George Wright. R.H.A., 1852.

Duke of York. [Royal Hibernian School, Phoenix Park.] Painted for the Guild of Merchants, Dublin, by subscription, according to a resolution passed on 1st June, 1825, as a memorial for "his uncompromising attitude in regard to the Established Church." The picture, with its frame, cost £150. It hung in the Hall, afterwards used as Merchant Taylors' School, on Wellington Quay, until that building was disposed of in June, 1908, when the picture was deposited in the Royal Hibernian School, Phoenix Park.

Embarkation of George IV from Kingstown. A large picture begun in 1821, containing numerous portraits, for which, including the King, the painter had sittings. The artist exhibited it in the rooms of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1826. [Royal Dublin Society.]

Embarkation of George IV from Kingstown. [Marquess Conyngham, Slane Castle.] (One of these pictures, or a similar one, was at the R.A. in 1845.)

View of Belfast from Cromac Water Mills. Engraved by F. Jukes.

View of Belfast from banks of the Lagan. Engraved by F. Jukes.

Scene from "Coriolanus"; 10 ft. by 7 ft. R.A., 1822; B.I., 1828.

Hamlet; 9 ft. 2 in. by 6 ft. 2 in. B.I., 1822.

Gipsy and child. Soc. Artists, Dublin, 1811.

The Rambler. Soc. B.A., 1831.

The Proposal; 6 ft. 7 in. by 3 ft. 6 in. B.I., 1831.

Hebe. B.I., 1833.

Rebecca. B.I., 1835.

The Historian. B.I., 1836; R.H.A., 1842.

The Pleasures of Hope. B.I., 1837.

A Spanish Girl. B.I., 1836.

The Music Lesson. B.I., 1838.

Lily of the Valley. B.I., 1838.

An Oriental Lady. Soc. B.A., 1839.

Crossing the Brook; 7 ft. 10 in. by 5 ft. 6 in. B.I., 1839.

First Ride. B.I., 1839.

Mary, a Study. B.I., 1840.

The Invitation. Portraits of a young lady and her sister. R.A., 1840.

Coquette de deux ans. R.H.A., 1841.

Christ rebuking Peter. B.I., 1841.

The Studio. B.I., 1842.

Searching the Scriptures. B.I., 1842.

The Virgin Mary. B.I., 1843.

The Forlorn Hope. B.I., 1846.

Baptism of Christ. B.I., 1847.

Rebecca and Eleazar. B.I., 1849; R.H.A., 1852.

Reading the Times. R.H.A, 1850.

Martha and Mary. R.H.A., 1852.

The Politician. B.I., 1853.

A Welsh Rabbit. B.I., 1854.

A Check-mate. R.H.A., 1854; B.I., 1857; the artist's last exhibit.

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