|Place of Birth||Covent Garden, London|
Francis Wheatley's artistic output included printmaking, portraiture, genre painting and depictions of historical and literary subjects. Having mainly engaged in portraits of the middle classes in his early career in London, he took up residence in Ireland in 1779, remaining there for four years to avoid his creditors. During this time he created some of his major works, among them a view of the interior of the Irish House of Commons. Out of doors he recorded scenes of Irish rural life in the area around Dublin. On returning to London he supplied paintings for the reproductive print market. His Cries of London series is particularly well-known. He also painted scenes from Shakespeare and continued to paint historical subjects and landscapes. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1790 and an academician the following year.
Sources: Mary Webster, Francis Wheatley (Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art; Routledge and K. Paul, 1970).
J. Kelly, ‘Francis Wheatley: His Irish Paintings, 1779-83’, in Adele M. Dalsimer (ed.), Visualizing Ireland: National Identity and the Pictorial Tradition (Boston and London: Faber & Faber, 1993).