William Waldron, Flower Painter

(fl. 1772-1801)

Flower Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He was apprenticed to James Mannin, master in the Dublin Society's School, and in January, 1768, the Society made him a grant of £11 7s. 6d. to enable him to maintain and clothe himself during his apprenticeship, and in the following year he was given a further sum of £18. On the termination of his studies under Mannin he started for himself, in 1772, as an artist and a teacher of painting and drawing in Mabbot Street, and in advertisements in the newspapers he thanked the Dublin Society for its encouragement, and solicited the patronage of the public. In 1774 he moved to 70 Mecklenburg Street, where he continued until 1777, when he went to 76 Dorset Street. Here he remained until 1793, and subsequently took up his residence at a house near Ballybough Bridge. On the death of Mannin in 1779, Waldron was, in November of that year, appointed to succeed him as master of the Dublin Society's landscape and ornament school, a position which he held until 1801, when he retired and was succeeded by Henry Brocas. J. D. Herbert, in his "Irish Varieties," thus describes Waldron when master in the school: "His appearance was not flattering, nor did his severe look and habitual frown encourage me to stay long at his beck, for he seldom spoke, which was, I thought, a fortunate thing for me, his manner was so truly cheerless."

Waldron exhibited at the Society of Artists each year from 1770 to 1774, his contributions being flower-pieces. He again exhibited, and for the last time, in 1777; on this occasion sending eleven portraits, including four of "theatrical characters," viz.: "Lady Rutland in the Earl of Essex," "Leonora in the Padlock," "Archer in the Stratagem," and "Macheath in the Beggar's Opera." A picture of "The Resurrection" by him is in the chapel of the Blue-coat School, Dublin, over the communion table. It is signed and dated 1783. For this picture he was paid, on 20th June, 1783, £22 15s.

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