Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ready, William James Durant

READY, WILLIAM JAMES DURANT (1823–1873), marine-painter, son of a clerk in the customs, was born in London on 11 May 1823. He was an entirely self-taught artist. He took some of his early works to a dealer, who bought them and continued to employ him after his return from a residence of four or five years in America. He painted chiefly scenes on the south coast of England, both in oils and water-colours. His pictures are signed ‘W. F. R.’ He was of a timid and retiring disposition, and exhibited only six times, sending one picture to the Suffolk Street Gallery, three to the British Institution in 1861, 1862 (coast scenes priced at 5l. each), and 1865 (coast scene near Harwich, 15l.), and two to the Royal Academy in 1867, on the encouragement of David Roberts, who admired his work. He died at Brighton, 29 Nov. 1873, of an illness contracted by painting in the open air.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists; Exhibition Catalogues, Royal Academy and British Institution.]

C. D.