Richard Valentine Williams
Samuel Hawksett (1776 - 1850):
Samuel Hawksett was the principal portrait painter of his time in Belfast.
He painted portraits of, among others, Robert Langtry,Thomas Mulholland and the Marchioness of Donegall. He exhibited portraits in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, from 1826 to 1834. He was commissioned by members of the Royal Belfast Academical Institution to paint a portrait of King William IV. The portrait was exhibited at the first exhibition of the Belfast Association of Artists in Sept 1836. It was indeed duly delivered to the Institution, but they subsequently refused to pay him for it on the grounds that the request had NOT come from the Institution itself, but unofficially from a group of its members for presentation. The King had died shortly afterwards (in 1837), and the promised financial support by members for the project had evaporated. Hawksett began a long and angry campaign to get his money, but after receiving only part of it (from a few sympathetic members) he removed the painting from the Institution's premises. He never received the bulk of his fee, and kept the full-length portrait, nine feet in height, in his possession for the rest of his life. Five months after his death his widow disposed of it by public lottery.
He was first Treasurer of the Belfast Association of Artists. He died at his home at 25 College Sreet, Belfast.
|Died:||6 February 1850|
Information/research kindly supplied by Osmund Bullock, 19th & 20th Century Portraits, London Topography & Genealogical Research
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