William G. Wall, Landscape Painter

(fl. 1818-1862)

Landscape Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in Dublin in 1792. Early in life he went to America, arriving in New York in September, 1818. He painted there with some success for many years, and was one of the original members of the National Academy of Design, established in New York in 1826. Amongst his earliest works was a series of Views of the Hudson River, which was engraved in aquatint by J. Smith and J. Hill, and published about 1820 by I. Megarey in New York as the "Hudson River Portfolio." This work, one of the most important series of early American views, was issued in three parts, each part containing twelve views, 14 ½ by 21 ½ inches. It was on the Hudson River that Fulton established his line of steamers about the time the views were painted, and two of the views contain representations of steam-boats, one of a very primitive type. About 1832 Wall returned to Dublin and became associated with "Master Hubard," the infant prodigy in "scissor-work," who was touring Ireland with his exhibition of paper-cut silhouettes. This appears from a contemporary handbill: "Facing the George Hotel, Galway. Entrance, 376 High Street. The Papyrolamia of the celebrated Master Hubard. . . . . .Collection of accurate Delineations of Flowers, Trees, Perspective Views, Architectural, Military and Sporting Pieces, Family Groups, Portraits of Distinguished Individuals, &c. Elegantly Mounted Pictures and Backgrounds, by W. G. Wall, Esqre., of Dublin, together with 7 grand Oriental Paintings of the most celebrated views of North America, taken on the spot by eminent British Artists. Admission is. . . . ." (see "The History of Silhouettes," by E. Nevill Jackson, 1911).

In 1840 Wall sent three American views and one of "Blarney Castle" to the Royal Hibernian Academy, and also an American view in 1842. In 1843 he exhibited pictures of American scenery at the Society of Irish Artists, of which he was a member, and many of his works were purchased by the Royal Irish Art Union and given as prizes to subscribers between 1843 and 1846. In 1851, he again contributed to the Royal Hibernian Academy, among his exhibits being a water-colour "View of Lough Mask," and one of "The Castle, Athenry." In 1853 he made his only appearance at the Royal Academy with "A Mountain Stream in Connemara." Wall produced some clever work in water-colour as well as in oil, but did not succeed in obtaining much encouragement in Dublin; and, depressed by the neglect he suffered, he returned to America in, or soon after, 1856. For some time, though advanced in years, he attempted to follow his profession at Newburgh, N. Y. State; but in 1862 he appears to have returned to Dublin and no further information is obtainable about him. A "View of Ulverston," by him, belongs to James T. Andrews, 1 Waterloo Road, Dublin.

Wall married in 1812, before he left Ireland, and had, besides two daughters, a son, WILLIAM ARCHIBALD WALL, born in New York in 1828, who was also an artist and contributed a landscape to the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1847 and again in 1853. He was in London in 1857 and 1858, and exhibited landscapes in those years in the Royal Academy, and in 1857 and 1859 in the British Institution. In 1861 he exhibited at the National Academy in New York. In 1865, 1870 and 1872 he again contributed to the Royal Academy, and was then living in, or near, London. His name last occurs in 1875, when he was residing at Norbiton.

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