Briggs, Henry Perronet (DNB00)
BRIGGS, HENRY PERRONET (1793–1844), subject and portrait painter, was born at Walworth in 1793; he was of a Norfolk family and related to Opie the artist. While still at school at Epping he sent two well-executed engravings to the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' and in 1811 entered as a student at the Royal Academy, where he began to exhibit in 1814. From that time onwards until his death he was a constant exhibitor at the annual exhibitions of the Academy, his paintings being for the most part historical in subject, though after his election as an academician in 1832 he devoted his attention almost exclusively to portraiture. Two of his historical pictures, first exhibited at the Academy in 1826 and 1827, are now in the National Gallery: No. 375, the 'First Conference between the Spaniards and Peruvians, 1531,' and No. 376, 'Juliet and the Nurse.' His large painting of 'George III presenting the Sword to Lord Howe on board the Queen Charlotte, 1794,' was purchased of him by the British Institution, and presented to Greenwich Hospital. Among the more successful of the various Shakespearean scenes delineated by him may be mentioned his 'Othello relating his adventures to Desdemona.' Of his numerous portraits, the best perhaps was that of Lord Eldon. The pictures painted by Briggs, though not without merits of construction, cannot be said to belong to the highest class of art, his colouring and flesh-tints especially being unpleasing. He died in London on 18 Jan 1844.
[Athenæum, 27 Jan. 1844; Art Union, March 1844; Catalogue of the National Gallery (British and Modern Schools); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Redgraves' Century of Painters, ii. pp. 78, 79.]