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CUIT or CUITT, GEORGE, the elder (1743–1818), painter, born at Moulton, near Richmond in Yorkshire, in 1743, was son of a builder, and early in life displayed a great taste for drawing. This he exercised in various ways, especially in portrait-painting. Some crayon portraits of his attracted the notice of Sir Lawrence Dundas, bart., of Aske, who employed him to take the likeness of some of his children. So much pleased was he with Cuit's performance that in 1769 he sent him to Italy to study painting there, in company with a fellow-artist, Thomas Harrison (1744–1819) [q. v.] Here Cuit met many artists of note, and made great progress, especially in landscape-painting, which was most congenial to his style. In 1775 he returned to England and received various commissions from Sir Lawrence Dundas. In 1776 he exhibited at the Royal Academy ‘The Infant Jupiter fed with goat's milk and honey;’ in 1777 some views of Guisborough, Yorkshire, and a portrait. He intended to settle in London, but this was frustrated by illness, which compelled him to return to his native town, Richmond. Here he lived in quiet seclusion, receiving innumerable commissions for painting the scenery of the neighbourhood, especially views of the parks and many fine houses around. Lord Mulgrave employed him to paint a set of views of all the ports on the Yorkshire coast which Captain Cook had personally visited, and other scenes connected with the great circumnavigator. ‘An ingenious artist and very worthy man,’ As he is styled in his monumental inscription, Cuit was industrious to the end of his life, though he exhibited only occasionally in public. He died at Richmond 7 Feb. 1818, aged 75, and was buried there. By his wife Jane, who was buried 13 Jan. of the same year, he had an only son, George Cuitt [q. v.], who etched a portrait of his father after his death.

[Redgrave's Dict. of English Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Gent. Mag. 1818, lxxxviii. 188; Elmes's Annals of the Fine Arts, iv. 463; Royal Academy Catalogues, &c.]

L. C.