John Downman

1750-1824 Wales-Portraitist


Brief Biography-John Downman the portraitist, is assumed to have been born in Wales because of his close ties with the town of Wrexham in North Wales. His daughter was married and died in Wrexham. There is however speculation he was born in Devonshire, but he is generally considered to have been a Welsh artist. In 1769, he attended the Royal Academy Schools and in 1795 he became an Associate. He studied with Benjamin West for a short time and in 1773 he voyaged to Italy with Joseph Wright of Derby for a two-year period. In 1777, he concentrated on portrait painting in Cambridge before moving to London for several years. His marriage was to the daughter of the composer William Jackson of Exeter, who was the organist at Exeter Cathedral. He spent time in Plymouth, Exeter and Chester before finally settling in Wrexham in 1819, where he died in 1824. His portraits are of unusual interest to this day because of the notes he sometimes wrote on them regarding the sitters. He would occasionally note their occupation or how they would have behaved, along with the date and place it was executed.


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Master Page-
Anne Page-

Master Page-Anne Page and Slender

of Normandy

Robert-Duke of Normandy-in Prison

The Ghost of

The Ghost of Clytemnestra Awakening the Furies

Sarah And
Mary Rigby

Sarah And Mary Emma Rigby


John Burke

Mr R

Mr R Prinsep

Mrs R

Mrs R Prinsep


An Unknown Man


Elizabeth Mortlock And Her Son

Witches from

Witches from Macbeth


Frederic Hodges

baron gustaf adam
von nolcken

baron gustaf adam von nolcken

benjamin west

benjamin west

the fourdrinier

the fourdrinier family

an unknown

Unknown Man