Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lawless, Matthew James

LAWLESS, MATTHEW JAMES (1837–1861), artist, a son of Barry Lawless, solicitor, of Dublin, was born near that city in 1837. He was sent to school at Prior Pack College, near Bath; but his education was interrupted by deafness and ill-health. On his parents coming to live near London he attended several drawing schools, and was for a time a pupil of Henry O'Neil, R.A. His first published drawing appeared in 'Once a Week' (i. 505), and he continued for some years to draw illustrations for that periodical, and afterwards for the 'Cornhill Magazine,' 'Punch,' 'London Society,' and for Dr. Formby's 'Life of St. Francis.' He exhibited one or two oil-paintings at the Royal Academy when only twenty years old. The last and best known of his pictures was 'The Sick Call' (1863); this was reproduced in the 'Illustrated London News' as one of the gems of the Academy exhibition in that year. He died of consumption at his father's residence in Pembridge Crescent, Bayswater, London, 6 Aug. 1864, and was buried in the Roman catholic cemetery at Kensal Green.

[Personal knowledge.]

E. W.