Sir William Beechey RA (12 December 1753 – 28 January 1839) was an English portraitist. (Wikipedia) He was the son of William Beechey and Hannah Read.
William was born in 1753. William Beechey was raised by an uncle after his parents died.
Interested in painting from an early age, he was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1772 despite his uncle's alleged aspirations for him to go into law. From one account of his life, he started as a house painter, but other accounts show he was articled to a solicitor in Gloucestershire then London.
Early on in his artistic career he resided in Norwich before coming to the notice of the royal family. In 1793 he painted a full-length picture of Queen Charlotte, and became her official portrait painter.
He was married twice, first to Mary Ann Jones (ca. 1760–1793) in 1772, and secondly to successful miniature painter Anne Phyllis Jessop (3 August 1764–14 December 1833) in 1793. He had five children from his first marriage and 16 from his second.
William Beechey was knighted in 1798.
Sir William Beechey was for a long period of time a fashionable portrait painter, excelling in depictions of women and children. His children were similarly artistically accomplished. His second wife was an accomplished artist in her own right, painting miniatures. Many of his subjects were distinguished sitters.
He passed away in 1839 in London.
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