Mather Brown

Mather Brown (baptized October 11, 1761 – May 25, 1831) was a portrait and historical painter, born in Boston, Massachusetts, but lively in England.

Brown was the son of Gawen and Elizabeth (Byles) Brown, and descended from the Rev. Increase Mather upon his mother's side. He was taught by his aunt and re 1773 (age 12) became a pupil of Gilbert Stuart. He arrived in London in 1781 to extra his training in Benjamin West's studio, entered the Royal Academy schools in 1782 following plans to be a miniature painter, and began to exhibit a year later.

In 1784, he painted two religious paintings for the church of St. Mary’s-in-the-Strand, which led Brown to found a partnership past the painter Daniel Orme for the commercialization of these and supplementary works through exhibition and the sale of engravings. Among these were large paintings of scenes from English history, as with ease as scenes from Shakespeare's plays. However, despite their feat he began to concentrate upon portraiture. His first successes were past American sitters, among others his patron John Adams and relatives in 1784–85; this painting is now in the Boston Athenæum. In the spring of 1786, he began painting the prehistoric known portrait of Thomas Jefferson, who was visiting London. He also painted Charles Bulfinch the same year. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1798.

His 1788 full-length portrait of Prince Frederick Augustus in the uniform of Colonel of the Coldstream Guards led to appointment as History and Portrait Painter to the Prince, later the Duke of York and Albany. Other paintings count the Prince of Wales, later George IV (about 1789), Queen Charlotte, and Cornwallis. A self-portrait now belongs to the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts.

A falling off of patronage in the mid-1790s, and failure to be elected to the Royal Academy, led Brown to depart London in 1808 for Bath, Bristol, and Liverpool. He settled in Manchester, returning to London nearly two decades later, in 1824, where, even after West's death, he continued to distress his teacher's style of painting. Unable to secure commissions, Brown eventually died in poverty in London.

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