Bowness, William (DNB00)

BOWNESS, WILLIAM (1809–1867), painter, was born at Kendal. He was self-taught, and after some practice in his native town he, soon after his twentieth year, came to London and achieved moderate success as a portrait and figure painter. In 1836 he exhibited his 'Keepsake' at the Royal Academy, and afterwards sent thither about one picture annually until his death. He also contributed to the exhibitions of the British Institution in Pall Mall, and, in great number, to those of the Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street. His works are mostly portraits and figure-subjects of domestic character.

He periodically visited his native town, and is author of a number of poems in the Westmoreland dialect, and of some of sentimental strain in ordinary English. He died at his house in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, London, 27 Dec. 1867.

His writings have been collected under the title 'Rustic Studies in the Westmoreland Dialect, with other scraps from the sketch-book of an artist,' London and Kendal, 1868. A pamphlet, 'Specimens of the Westmoreland Dialect,' by Rev. T. Clarke, William Bowness, &c., Kendal, 1872, contains one poem from the above-named collection.

[Cat. Royal Academy; Cat. Brit. Institution; Cat. Soc. Brit. Artists; Art Journal, February 1868; Kendal Mercury, 4 Jan. 1868; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists (1878).]

W. H-h.