Benwell, John Hodges (DNB00)

BENWELL, JOHN HODGES (1764–1785), genre painter, was born in 1764 at Blenheim, where his father was under-steward to the Duke of Marlborough. He was a pupil of an obscure portrait painter named Sanders, but he studied also in the schools of the Royal Academy, and gained a silver medal in 1782. He afterwards for a time taught drawing at Bath, and likewise executed a few small oval drawings in water-colours, which he combined effectively with crayons in a manner peculiar to himself; but his works have suffered much from the ravages of time. He returned to London and exhibited a classical subject at the Royal Academy in 1784, but he died prematurely of consumption in 1786, and was buried in Old St. Pancras churchyard. Several of his works are well known by engravings from them. Among these are two scenes from 'Auld Robin Gray,' the 'Children in the Wood' engraved by W. Sharp, and 'A St. Giles's Beauty' and 'A St. James's Beauty' engraved by Bartolozzi. There is a drawing of 'The Chevalier de Bayard' by him in the South Kensington Museum.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists, 1878.]

R. E. G.