FRANCIS WHEATLEY (London 1747 – London 1801)
Going to Market
signed F. Wheatley dell and dated 1800 in the lower left
watercolor and gouache on paper
13 ⅕ x 9 ½ inches (33.5 x 24.1 cm.)
L.G. Duke, London
Anonymous sale, catalogue 78, lot 207, where purchased by
Alister Mathews, Fremington, Bournemouth, England
Private Collection, New York
Francis Wheatley was born in London in 1747, the son of a master tailor of Wild Court, Covent Garden. Little is known about his early life except that he was placed by his father under D. Fournier, a drawing master and teacher of perspective, and that he went to the drawing school run by William Shipley (1714 - 1803), the founder of the Society of Arts, where her received the only regular instruction of his life.
Ultimately he was largely self-taught, and also learned much from associating with John Hamilton Mortimer when painting the ceiling at Brocket Hall from 1771 - 1773.
By 1779 until 1783 he was in Dublin, (to escape creditors), where he became quite a successful portraitist. Back in London after 1783, his principal works stem from literary themes and domestic genre. He also did some historical pictures for the Shakespeare Gallery. He further produced a steady stream of watercolors which culminated in the ëThe Cries of Londonî which were enormously popular in engravings.
Works by the artist which ultimately came to encompass portraiture, historical, and genre themes, as well as landscapes can be found in the museums of Budapest, Dublin, Liverpool, London, New York, and Nottingham, among others.