Thomas Beach

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Thomas Beach

1 artworks

Born 1738 - Died 1806

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  • Images of the Artist

Portrait Of Samuel Rodbard (1758 ­ 1827)


Oil on canvas

124.5 x 99.5 cms | 49 x 39 ins

Private collection, ,

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Thomas Beach studied with Joshua Reynolds from 1760 until early in 1762, during which time he was also a student at the St Martin?s Lane Academy, London. He probably settled in Bath; his recorded portraits of the 1760s are all of sitters from Dorset or Somerset, and he sent two portraits from an address in Bath to the Society of Artists exhibition of 1772. He exhibited with the Society until 1783, becoming its vice-president (1782) and president (1783) he also exhibited at the Royal Academy (1785?90, 1797). He probably divided his mature practice between London and Bath. His early reliance on Reynolds?s ideas of propriety gave way to a more direct approach, seen at its best in such group portraits as The Stapleton Family (1789; U. Bath, Holburne of Menstrie Mus.). In this work, the four children are shown in costume, as a fortune-teller and her customers. The theatrical element in Beach?s work, reflecting his interest in the stage, is seen most strikingly in Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble in ?Macbeth? Act 2, Scene ii (1786; London, Garrick Club). Beach?s diary for 1798, the only one to have survived, chronicles what appears to have been an annual tour of the west country; that year he completed 31 portraits between June and December. Beach was able to capture a strong likeness and this, despite a certain naivety and awkwardness in composition, was enough to establish his reputation in moderately fashionable provincial circles. His last recorded work is a Self-portrait (1802; London, N.P.G.), but he painted little after 1800 and retired to Dorchester.