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Barlow, Francis (DNB00)


BARLOW, FRANCIS (1626?–1702), animal painter and engraver, born in Lincolnshire about 1626, was a pupil of William Sheppard, a portrait painter. He occasionally painted landscapes, but he is better known as a painter of animals, and he drew horses, dogs, birds, and fish with great spirit and accuracy; his colouring, however, was not equal to his drawing, otherwise his reputation would have stood much higher than it does. He painted with birds the ceilings of some country houses of the nobility and gentry, and designed and engraved two plates for Benlowe's poem ‘Theophila,’ which appeared in 1652, as well as upwards of a hundred illustrations for the edition of ‘Æsop's Fables’ published with Mrs. Afra Behn's translation in 1666, and of which the greater part of the impression was burnt in the fire of London. Hollar engraved after him eighteen plates of birds for the work entitled ‘Multæ et diversæ Avium species,’ 1658; two for Stapylton's translation of Juvenal, 1660; and fourteen plates entitled ‘Several Ways of Hawking, Hunting, and Fishing,’ 1671, besides several single plates of animals. He painted a half-length portrait of George Monck, duke of Albemarle, of which there is an excellent etching by himself, and he designed the hearse for Monck's funeral in Westminster Abbey. There is also by him a print of an eagle soaring in the air with a cat in its talons, an incident which Barlow witnessed while sketching in Scotland. His drawings are very carefully executed with a pen, and are usually slightly tinted with brown. He resided in Drury Lane, London, and notwithstanding a considerable bequest from a friend, he died in indigence in 1702.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists, 1878; Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (ed. Graves), 1885.]

R. E. G.