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Danby, Thomas (DNB00)

DANBY, THOMAS (1817?–1886), painter, was the younger son of Francis Danby [q. v.] He followed his father to the continent about 1830, and, the latter being unable or unwilling to support him, young Danby, though only a lad of thirteen, earned his living by copying pictures at the Louvre. He thus became an earnest student of Claude, whose aerial effects he sought to imitate. Returning to England about the same time as his father, he first exhibited at the British Institution in 1841, and afterwards frequently at the Academy. He lived much with Paul Falconer Poole, and imbibed not a little of his romantic feeling for nature. The subjects of his landscapes were usually taken from Welsh scenery; his pictures for the most part were not, like his father's, ideal compositions, but actual scenes pervaded by a truly poetical spirit. ‘He was always trying,’ says the writer of the obituary notice in the ‘Times,’ ‘to render his inner heart's feeling of a beautiful view rather than the local facts received on the retina.’ He came, it is said, within one vote of election as A.R.A., but, failing eventually to attain Academy honours, devoted himself in his latter years chiefly to water-colour painting. He was elected an associate of the Society of Painters in Water-colours in 1867, and a full member in 1870: and until his death his contributions were among the chief ornaments of the society's exhibitions. He died of a chest complaint, terminating in dropsy, 25 March 1886.

[Times, 30 March 1886.]

R. G.