Michael Bryan.

Dictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical online

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Domenic for the convent of his order in Brescia ;
the decoration of the Town-hall with various
subjects ; and the frescoes in the church of S.
Salvatore. After this he painted a fresco in the
castle of Malpaga, representing Bartolommeo
Colleoni invested with the command of the Cru-
saders in the presence of the Pope and his
Cardinals. In 1534 he painted a series of frescoes
for the village church of the Madonna, near
Pisogne, which, although much injured, still shows
his great powers. His next undertaking was a
series of scenes from the life of the Madonna, in
fresco, at Vieno. This was followed by a series
from the life of a Saint for the church of St.



Bomauo



PAINTERS AND ENGRAVERS.



Romney



Antonio at Breno, which are now much defaced.
About 1540 Romaniuo, by the order of Cardinal
Madnizzo, painted several subjects taken from
sacred and profane history, in fresco, in the Cas-
tello of Trent, and, the same year, four scenes
from the life of St. George in the church of that
Saint at Verona. About 1541 he finished the organ
shutters of the Duomo in Brescia, representing
the Birth and the Visitation of the Virgin. His
last known work was a picture of ' Christ's Sermon
on the Mount,' painted for the Benedictines of
Modena in 1557. His death is believed to have
occurred in 1566. Many of the private collections
and churches in Brescia contain examples by tliis
master. Amongst those most worthy of note is
' The Communion of St. ApoUonius,' in the church
of St. Maria Calchera, and a 'Nativity' and a
' Pieta ' in St. Guiseppe. Also :
Berlin. Gallery. Madonna with Saints and Angels.

„ „ Judith.

„ „ A Piet^.

Brescia. „ The Supper at Emmaus.

„ „ Magdalen in Simon's House.

„ „ Christ carrying His Cross.

„ „ Two Portraits.

Oanford. Lord Wim- > , t,. . ,
tome. jAPieti.

London. Aai. Gall. Nativity with Four Saints.
Vienna. Gallery. A Female Portrait.

ROMANO, GiuLio. See Dei Giannuzzi.

ROMANO, II. See Catalani, Antonio.

ROMANO, II. See Teevisano, Fbancesco.

ROMANO, ViNCENZo. See Abibmolo.

ROMBORGH, , a painter of Nimeguen, who

was living at the commencement of the last
century. He studied landscape painting at Rome,
but chiefly in the works of the old masters. In his
style he resembled Fr6d^ric Moucheron.

ROMBOUTS, Jan, (or Rombodts,) of the same
family with Salomon Rombouts. He painted in
Friesland about 1660, and is the author of several
works attributed to Ruysdael and Hobbema. In the
Berlin Museum there is by him a ' Wooded Land-
scape' ; in the Stadel Institute at Frankfurt, a ' Park ' ;
several works in the Brunswick Museum ; and in
the Dresden Gallery a picture of a ' Dutch Village.'
There is a woody landscape in the Amsterdam
Museum signed Y. Rombouts. It is probable that
he is the artist mentioned in the Haarlem archives
under the name of Gilles (Jilles) Rombouts (1661-
1663). Some writers have denied his existence
altogether, holding that landscapes attributed to
him are by Salomon Rombouts^ and that the
signature S. has been misread J.

ROMBOUTS, Salomon, was a follower of Ruys-
dael. He painted principally landscapes and
marine views. In the Hamburg Gallery is a
winter landscape ; in the Leipzic Museum a sea-
shore at Scheveningen ; and at Schleissheim two
landscapes. The dates of his birth and death are
not recorded, but he died in Haarlem before 1702.

ROMBOUTS, Theodobe, born at Antwerp in
1597, was a scholar of Abraham Janssens, under
whom he studied until he was twenty years of age.
In 1617 he travelled to Italy, and it was not long
before his talents distinguished him as one of the
most promising young artists at Rome. His works
were sufficiently esteemed to secure hiin constant
occupation ; and after a residence of a few years
in the capital of art, he had arrived at sufficient
celebrity to be invited to visit Florence by the
Grand Duke, who employed him in some consider-
able works for the Ducal Palace. After an absence

VOL. II. o D



of eight years he returned to Antwerp, whither
the reputation he had acquired in Italy had pre-
ceded him, and he painted some pictures for the
churches, which excited such general admiration
that his vanity led him to believe his abilities equal,
if not superior, to those of Rubens, who was at
that time in full possession of his powers. This
vanity incited him to more arduous exertions,
and his happiest productions were conceived and
executed under the feelings of emulation. Rombouts
possessed a ready invention, and an uncommon
facility of touch. He received the freedom of St.
Luke in 1625. On the 17th September, 1627, he
received a permit from the Burgomaster of Ant-
werp which allowed him to spend his wedding
night outside the city without losing his right as a
citizen, and he then married Anne, a member of
the noble family of Van Thielen. By her he had
one child, a daughter. Of his works, the most
remarkable are the following : ' The Descent
from the Cross,' in the cathedral at Ghent ; ' St.
Francis receiving the Stigmata,' and 'The Angel
appearing to Joseph in his Dream,' in the church
of the Recolets ; and ' Themis with the Attributes
of Justice,' in the Town-house. Rombouts died
at Antwerp the 14th September, 1637. The year
1640 has also been given, but that is a mistake.
He was interred in the Carmelite church.

ROMEGIALLO, Giovanni Pieteo, born at Mor-
begno, in the Valteline, in 1739, learned the rudi-
ments of art from G. F. Cotta, an obscure painter
of his native city, but afterwards went to Rome,
where he became the pupil of Agostino Masucci.
He was much occupied in copying the works of
Guercino, Guido, and P. da Cortona. His pictures
are in the collections at Como, and in the churches
of the Valteline.

ROMEO, Don Josfe, a Spanish painter, horn at
Cervera, in the kingdom of Arragon, in 1701, went
to Italy when he was young, and studied at Rome
under Agostino Masucci. On his return to Spain
he resided for some time at Barcelona, where he
painted some pictures for the church of the Mer-
cenaries Calzados. He afterwards visited Madrid,
where he was taken into the service of Philip V.
He died at Madrid in 1772.

ROMERSWALE, Van. See Mabinus.
ROMEYN, WiLLEM van, (Romijn,) a Dutch
painter of landscapes, with cattle and figures,
born at Haarlem in 1624, was a pupil of Berohem,
to whose pictures those of Romeyn bear a great
resemblance. They also show points of similarity
with those of Karel du Jardin and Adrian van de
Velde. They are generally small, well drawn and
composed, and harmonious in colour. His pictures
are in all the principal galleries of Europe, but are
frequently attributed to one or other of the above-
named masters. It may be added that some of his
landscapes have a slight resemblance to those of
Jan Both : it is probable that he had visited Italy.
He died at Haarlem in 1693. Works :

Amsterdam. Museum. Two landscapes _with Cattle,
signed W. Romijn.

„ „ Two ditto, signed W. Eomeijn.

„ „ One ditto, signed W. R.

.Berlin. Museum. Italian Landscape ; W. Romijn.

Dresden. Gallery. Rooky Landscape ; W. Romeijn.

London. Dvlvrich Gal. Two Cattle pieces ; W. Romeijn.

ROMNEY, Geoege, painter, was born at Dalton-
le-Furness, Lancashire, on the 15th December,
1734. He belonged to a respectable yeoman
family, whose original home had been near

401



Romney



A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONAEY OP



Romney



Appleby, but the painter's grandfather had, during
the troubles of the Civil War, been obliged to
move further south. At Dalton he married at
the age of sixty, and had several children. His
son John, a cabinet-maker, married, in 1730, Anne
Simpson, of Sladebank in Cumberland, and had
by her a daughter and ten sons, of whom one
was the painter. George Romney did not in his
school life show any special aptitude for any-
thing. He was accordingly removed in his
eleventh year, and set to his father's trade. He
soon developed a great fancy for mechanics,
and employed his leisure in carving small figures
in wood, and in the construction of experi-
mental violins, a passion for music leading him
to this last pursuit. It is not clearly known at
what precise period Romney first showed an in-
clination for art, but we are told that during his
apprenticeship he was in the habit of making
sketches of his fellow-workmen, and that he got
hold of a copy of Leonardo's ' Treatise on Paint-
ing,' which he read with deep interest, making
copies of the engravings. Other sketches and
likenesses done at this time showed so much
talent that John Romney was persuaded to take
his son, then nineteen years old, to Kendal, and
to there apprentice him to an eccentric painter,
Christopher Steele, whose love of dress and affec-
tation of French manners and tastes had gained
for him the nickname of 'Count' Steele. Steele
had studied in Paris under Vanloo, and was not
without talent, but his idleness and extravagance
made him a bad master. He neglected his
pupil, employing him as a mere studio drudge.
Romney allowed, however, that he gained experi-
ence even under these unfavourable conditions.
Steele, finding that his practice as a portrait
painter was an insufficient source of income,
resolved to carry off a young lady of fortune,
whose affections he had gained, and aided by
Romney, he succeeded in wedding her at Gretna
Green. The excitement and anxiety caused by
this affair is said to have thrown Romney into a
fever, through which he was nursed by Mary
Abbot, a good and attractive girl, who lived
with a widowed mother and a sister at Kendal.
Between her and the painter an attachment sprung
up, and on his recovery he married her, on the
14th Oct. 1756, Romney being nearly twenty-two
years old. In the early days of his marriage he
seems to have treated his wife with kindness.
She, on her part, was devoted to him, and at first
even kept him supplied with money, sending small
sums concealed under the seals of her letters while
he was on his professional tours with Steele.
In 1767 Romney, who had grown weary of his
apprenticeship, induced Steele to cancel the articles
(which were for four years), and as a set off con-
sented to remit a debt of ten pounds, borrowed at
various times by his master. Romney's first work
on his own account was a sign for the post-office
at Kendal — a hand holding a letter, which long
remained in the window. He practised at Kendal
for five years, making a living by portrait paint-
ing at very modest prices — two guineas being his
usual charge for a half-length. The Westmoreland-
people gave him commissions in plenty, and
among his productions of this period are the"
portraits of Walter Strickland of Sizergh and his
wife, Charles Strickland, Colonel Wilson of Abbot-
hall, and Morland of Cappelthwaite, besides a
few original compositions — 'Lear awakened by
402



Cordelia,' 'Lear in the Storm,' 'A Shandean
Piece,' 'A Tooth drawn by Candle-light,' 'A
Landscape with figures,' etc. About twenty of
these he exhibited in the Town-hall at Kendal,
and disposed of them by a lottery, which brought
in the magnificent sum of £40.

As Romney's local fame increased his ambition
took a wider range, and he longed to try his
fortune in the capital, leaving his wife and two
children behind him. The reasons for this last step
have never been satisfactorily explained. Romney's
natural disposition seems to have been kindly and
affectionate ; his wife proved herself in every way
worthy of his first feeling for her, yet the fact
remains that long after any doubts as to the
success of his enterprise had been set at rest, and
when he was at the height of his fame and
worldly prosperity, she and her children remained
in their obscure home in the north, and that in
twenty-seven years Romney only twice paid her
a hasty visit. In 1762, on the 14th March, Romney
started for London. By rapid and continuous
work at portrait painting he had raised a sum
of nearly £100. Taking £30 for his own expenses,
and leaving the surplus to his wife, he arrived in
the capital without even a letter of introduction,
and having never seen any pictures by other
masters save a portrait of Sir William Strickland
by Lely, and two portraits by Rigaud. He estab-
lished himself in a small studio in Dove Court,
near the Mansion House. The moment was
favourable, and there was much truth in Fuseli'a
unfriendly remark, that " Romney was made for his
times; and his times for him." In 1763 he painted
a ' Death of General Wolfe,' to which the Society
of Arts awarded him a prize of fifty guineas.
Departing from the accepted convention of the
day, he had painted his warriors in their actual
costume, and the critics fell foul of his work,
contending that the event represented was too
recent to be strictly called a " historical " subject,
and taking great exception to the cocked hats,
cross-belts, and bayonets of what was contemptu-
ously described as the " coat and waistcoat style."
Mortimer, the historical painter, had also com-
peted, with his ' Edward the Confessor seizing the
Treasure of his Mother,' and the upshot of the
controversy was the reversal of the Society's
decision, the award of the fifty poands to Mortimer,
and of a gratuity of twenty-five guineas to
Romney. It seems certain that this mortification
was chiefly due to the intervention of Reynolds,
and Romney's friends did not hesitate to say
that the great portrait-painter feared a rival in
his own domains, and persistently depreciated
Romney. It seems more just to suppose that
Sir Joshua honestly disliked Romney's work, and
was out of sympathy with his emotional character.
However this may be, a coldness always existed
between the two artists, and Reynolds may have
felt some natural disappointment at the immense
and rapid popularity of Romney as a portrait-
painter. He soon divided the patronage of the
fashionable world with his two greater rivals.
Lord Thurlow declared that the whole town was
divided into two— the Romney and the Reynolds
—factions, adding : " And I am of the Romney
faction." Such comment irritated Reynolds, who,
later in Romney's career, is said to have habitu-
ally called him "the man in Cavendish Square."
In 1764 Romney paid a short visit to France, and
a year later he won the first prize of the Society



Romney



PAINTERS AND ENGRAVERS.



Komney



of Arts isdth his 'Death of King Edward.' In
1773 he set out for Rome in company with his
friend Humphrey, the miniature-painter, hearing
a recommendation to the Pope, who allowed him
to erect scaffolds in the Vatican in order to make
copies from Raphael. He stayed two years in
Italy, and on his return in 1775 he was over-
whelmed with commissions. He now took the
large house in Cavendish Square left vacant by
the death of Cotes, and afterwards to be tenanted
by Sir Martin Archer Shee. Here he lived in
affluence, his income from portrait painting alone
amounting to between three and four thousand
a year. He worked indefatigably, often sitting
at his easel for thirteen hours, and having five
or six sitters a day ; a month's annual holiday,
which he spent with the egregious Hayley at
Eartham, being his only relaxation.

In 1782 Romney became acquainted with Lady
Hamilton, then calling herself Mrs. Harte. Both
Hayley and Romney were bewitched by her, the
one celebrating her charms in verse, the other in
paint. After her first appearance on his horizon
Romney seems to have relied almost solely upon
her for inspiration. He was jpiserable when away
from the "divine lady," and reduced the numbers
of his sitters in order to devote more time to end-
less studies of her beauties. His infatuation lasted
for years, during which he painted the series of
studies which have immortalized her beauty. In
Boydell's ' Shakespeare Glallery ' Romney warmly
co-operated, claiming indeed the merit of having
originated the idea. Two of his best historical
efforts, the 'Infant Shakespeare,' and the 'Tem-
pest' (in which Hayley sat for Prospero), were
contributions to the undertaking. In 1797
Romney removed from Cavendish Square to a
house he had built at Hampstead, in order to get
more room in which to carry out some conceptions
he had thus described in a letter to his son: "1
have made many grand designs ; I have formed
a system of original subjects, moral and my own,
and I think one of the grandest that has been
thought of — but nobody knows it. Hence it is
my view to wrap myself in retirement and pursue
these plans, as I begin to feel I cannot bear
trouble of any kind." The last words point to
early symptoms of the mental disorder which was
to shadow the close of his career. Always hypo-
chondriacal, he began, soon after his removal to
Hampstead, to fail rapidly, both in mind and
body. He gave up painting and sank into a state
of almost despair. Thus reduced, his mind turned
back to his wife. In the summer of 1799, without
announcing his intention, he set out for the north.
His wife received him with kindness, and tended
him till his death with the greatest devotion.
He at last sank into a state of helpless imbecility,
and died on the 15th November, 1802, aged not
quite sixty-eight years. He was buried at
Dal ton.

The best characteristics of Romney's art are
grace, pleasant colour, and sympathy with line.
As a draughtsman he gave proof of higher gifts
than either Reynolds or Gainsborough, while he
also excelled those masters in the solid simplicity
of his methods. There is a momentary quality,
too, in some of his best works in which he has
scarcely been surpassed. On the other hand he
was far below Reynolds in intellectual vigour and
variety, below Gainsborough in spirituality, and
below them both in colour and in richness of



chiaroscuro. The following list is confined to his
better or more accessible works : T.S.

Edinburgh. N'at. Gallery. Mrs. Ker of Blackshiels

"™'^°°' IniZL]^^-'^^ of a Child's head.

» ,; Three cartoons from the story

of Orpheus and Eurydioe.
» „ A series of seven cartoons,

illustrating the story of Cupid
and Psyche.
), „ Prometheus. (Cartoon)

„ „ Atossa's Dream. (Do.)

„ „ The Ghost of Darius. (J)o.)

„ „ Medea. (Do.)

n „ Birth of Shakespeare (Do.)

„ „ Infant Shakespeare. (Do.)

n „ Death of Cordelia. (Do.)

J, „ Descent of Odin. (Do.)

London. Nat. Gallery. Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante.
„ „ The Parson's Daughter.

„ Nat. Portrait Gal. Portrait of Flaxman.
„ „ Portrait of Lady Hamilton.

,1 „ Portrait of Eichard Cumber-

land.
Portraits of Maria and Catherine, daughters of Lord

Chancellor Thurlow. [Lord Thurlow.)
Portrait of Mrs. Horsley. (Edward Palmer, Esq.)
Portrait of Anne, Marchioness Townshend. (K. 8.

Holford, Esq.)
Portrait of Mrs. Lloyd. (Lord Rothschild.)
Portrait of Mrs. Townley Ward. (Henry Bucks Gibis,

Esq.)
Portrait of Isabella, Countess of Glencairn. (Rev.

Thomas Hollarid.)
Portrait of Lady Hamilton. (Ayseough Fawkes, Esq.)
Portrait of Lord Berwick. (Lord Berwick.)
Portraits of Mrs. Bosanquet and her five children,

(Sev. G. Posanquet.)
Portrait of Elizabeth, Countess of Derby. (Earl

Granville.)
Portrait of Lady Brooke. (Sir Eichard Brooke, Bt.)
Little Bo-Peep. (Edward Sumhy, Esq.)
Portraits of George and Catharine, children of Sir

George Cornewafi. (Rev. Hir G. Comewall, Bt.)
Flaxman modelling the bust of Hayley. (Col. Dawson

Greene.)
Portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Craven. (H. R. Grenfell,Esq.)
Portraits of Sir Thomas Olavering and his sister. (Sir

Henry Clavering, Bt.)
Portrait of Mrs. Jordan as ' Peggy,' in the ' Country-
Girl.' (Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.)
Portrait of Mrs. Moody. ( W. S. Stirling-Crawford, Esq.)
Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante. (Lord de Tabley.)
Portraits of Jane, Duchess of Gordon, and her son
George, Marquis of Huntly. (Sir Herbert Eustace
Maxwell, Bt.)
Portrait of George, 1st Marquis Townshend. (Sir

Graham Montgomery, Bt.)
Portrait of Mrs. Morris and Child. (General C. Morris.)
Portrait of Miss Forbes of CuUoden. ( William Lee, Esq.)
Portrait of Lady Hamilton. (Rev. Canon Philpotts.)
Portrait of Mrs. Bankes of Kingston Lacy. (Walter

Ralph Bankes, Esq.)
The Sempstress, portrait of Miss Lucy Vernon. (F. W.

Vernon- Wentworth, Esq.)
Portrait of Lady Hamilton. (Earl of Cawdor.)
Ehodope ; Lady Hamilton as a Wood-nymph, with a

child. (F. W. Vernon- Wentworth, Esq.)
Lady Hamilton as Ariadne. (Sir John Neeld, Bt.)
Portrait of Lady Hamilton. (Baron Lionel de Rothschild)
Portrait of Mrs. Eobinson as ' Perdita.' (J. H. Ander-
son, Esq)
Portrait of William Pitt when a boy. (Sir Coutts

Lindsay, Bt.)
Lady Hamilton as Euphrosyne. (J. Whitehead, Esq)
„ „ St. Cecilia.

„ „ the Spinstress. (Earl of Normanton.)

„ „ Cassandra.

„ „ Joan of Arc. (Late J. H. Anderdon,

Esq.)
„ „ Sensibility.

Children dancing in a ring. (Duke of Sutherland)
Mrs. Yates as the tragic Muse.
Serena,

403



Bomney



A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF



Ronjon



ROMNEY, John, an English engraver, born in
1786. He died at Chester in 1863. Specimens of
liis work are to be found in :

Smirke's illustrations to Shakespeare.

The Ancient Marbles in the British Museum.

Views of Ancient Buildings in Chester. 1851.

Amongst his separate plates are :

The Orphan Ballad Singer ; after Gill.
Sunday Moraiug — the Toilette ; after Farrier.

ROMNEY, Peter, an English portrait painter,
the brother of George Romney. He practised at
Ipswich and Cambridge. He fell into difficulties,
was imprisoned for debt in 1774, and died early.

ROMSTEDT, Christian, an obscure German
engraver, who resided at Leipsic about the year
1670. He engraved a few portraits, which are
very indifferently executed. His plates are marked
with a cipher composed of a C. and an E. It
would seem that there were two engravers of this
name, probably father and son, and that they
worked between 1630 to 1720 ; the younger died in
1725. They not only engraved portraits, but some
plates after the pictures of A. Carracoi in the
Farnese Palace.

EOMOLO, DiBQO, painter, the eldest son of
an obscure painter named Cinoinato Romulo, was
born at Madrid, where he studied under his father,
and was much esteemed. He was favoured by Philip
IV., and was sent to Rome in the suite of the
Spanish ambassador. Here he painted the portrait
of Pope Urban VIII. with so much success that
the Pope conferred on him the title of Cavaliere of
the order of Christ of Portugal. He did not long
enjoy his honours, for he died at Rome a few days
after his investiture, in the year 1625, and was
buried in the church of San Lorenzo.

'ROMULO, Francisco, painter, the second son of
Cincinato Romulo, was born at Madrid, and studied
under his father. In consideration of his brother's
untimely death, Urban VIII. conferred on him the
title Diego had enjoyed for so brief a time, and he
accordingly went to Rome, where he practised with
some success until his death in 1635.

RONCALLI, Gristoforo, called dalle Pomak-
ANCB, born at Pomarance, in the diocese of Vol-
terra, in 1552, studied at Rome under Niccolo
Circignani, also called dalle Pomarance. He
was employed by Paul V. in the embellishment
of the Capella Clementina, where he represented
the ' Death of Ananias and Sapphira ' ; and in the
Basilica of S. John Lateran, he painted a large
picture of the ' Baptism of Constantine. ' He exe-
cuted several other important works in the public
edifices at Rome. In the church of S. Giovanni
DecoUato, is a fine picture by him, representing
the ' Visitation of the Virgin to St. Elisabeth ' ; and
in S. Andrea della Valle, an altar-piece, represent-
ing 'St. Michael discomfiting the Evil Spirits.'
One of his most satisfactory works is the Cupola
of La Santa Casa di Loreto, in which he was em-
ployed through the influence of Cardinal Crescenzi.
At Naples, in the church of San Filippo Neri,
there is one of his best productions, a ' Nativity.'
The pictures of Roncalli exhibit a mixture of
Roman with Tuscan characteristics. In his fres-
coes his colouring is cheerful and brilliant ; in his
oil pictures, on the contrary, his tints are subdued
to a generally quiet tone. He was fond of intro-
ducing landscape backgrounds, which he treated
well. He died at Rome in 1626.

RONCELLI, Giuseppe, painter, born at Bergamo
404



in 1677. He became known for his skill in paint-
ing nocturnal conflagrations, the figures in which
were added by Celesti. He died in 1729.

RONCO, MiCHELB DI, a native of Milan, who
flourished in the latter part of the 14th century.
He painted in the Duomo of Bergamo between
1375 and 1377.

RONDANI, Francesco Maria, born at Parma



Online LibraryMichael BryanDictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical → online text (page 105 of 201)