Boydell, Josiah (DNB00)


BOYDELL, JOSIAH (1752–1817), painter and engraver, nephew of Alderman John Boydell [q. v.], was born at the Manor House, near Hawarden, Flintshire, on 18 Jan. 1752. Giving early proofs of his love for art and his capacity in design, he was sent to London and placed under the care and patronage of his uncle, whose partner and successor he eventually became. He drew from the antique, studied painting under Benjamin West, and acquired the art of mezzotinto engraving from Richard Earlom. When Alderman Boydell undertook the publication of the series of engravings from the famous Houghton collection previous to its removal to the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, he employed his nephew and Joseph Farington to make the necessary drawings from the pictures for the use of the engravers. Boydell painted several of the subjects for the Shakespeare Gallery, and exhibited portraits and historical subjects at the Royal Academy between 1772 and 1799. He resided for some time at Hampstead, and during the French war assisted in forming the corps known as the Loyal Hampstead Volunteers, of which he was lieutenant-colonel. He was master of the Stationers' Company, and succeeded his uncle as alderman of the ward of Cheap, but ill-health compelled him to resign this latter office within a few years. During the latter part of his life he resided at Halliford,

MiddleMiddlesex, and he died there on 27 March 1817. He was buried in Hampstead Church. Among his principal paintings may be mentioned: a portrait of Alderman John Boydell, exhibited at the Academy in 1772, and engraved by Valentine Green: a portrait of his wife, when Miss North, in the character of Juno, exhibited in 1773; and 'Coriolanus taking leave of his Family,' also exhibited in 1773. He engraved some excellent plates in mezzotinto: 'Hansloe and his Mother,' after Rembrandt; 'The Holy Family,' after Carlo Maratti; 'The Virgin and Child,' after Parmigiano; 'Charles I,' after A. van Dyck.

[Magazine of the Fine Arts, ii. 410; MS. notes in the British Museum.]

L. F.