Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Woodforde, Samuel

1059534Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 62 — Woodforde, Samuel1900Campbell Dodgson

WOODFORDE, SAMUEL (1763–1817), painter, born at Castle Cary in Somerset on 29 March 1763, was the second son of Heighes Woodforde (1726–1789) of Ansford, by his wife Anne, daughter and heiress of Ralph Dorville. He was a lineal descendant of Samuel Woodford [q. v.] At the age of fifteen he was patronised by the well-known banker Henry Hoare (d. 1785) of Stourhead, Wiltshire, where many of the painter's early works are preserved. In 1782 he became a student at the Royal Academy, where he exhibited pictures in 1784 and the two following years. In 1786 he was enabled by the liberality of his late patron to travel in Italy. After studying the works of Raphael and Michel Angelo at Rome, and copying ‘The Family of Darius’ by Paolo Veronese, he visited Florence and Venice, accompanied by Sir Richard Colt Hoare [q. v.] He returned to London in 1791, and resumed his contributions to the Royal Academy in 1792. From that year till 1815 he was a constant exhibitor of portraits, scenes of Italian life, historical pictures, and subjects from literature. He sent in all 133 pictures to the Royal Academy, and thirty-nine to the British Institution. His ‘Dorinda wounded by Sylvia’ is in the Diploma Gallery at Burlington House, and a watercolour, ‘Pan teaching Apollo’ (1790), is in the South Kensington Museum. Many of his pictures were engraved, including the forest scene in ‘Titus Andronicus,’ engraved by Anker Smith for Boydell's ‘Shakespeare’ (1793), several subjects engraved by James Heath and others for an edition of Shakespeare published by Longmans (1805–7), and, among larger subjects, ‘A Vestal’ (1800), by S. W. Reynolds, and ‘The Soldier's Widow’ (1801), by Maria Gisborne, both in mezzotint. Most of Woodforde's compositions were in the correct classical style of his period. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1800, and an academician in 1807. In 1815 he married and went to Italy. He died of fever at Ferrara on 27 July 1817, leaving no issue.

[Gent. Mag. 1817, ii. 282; Graves's Dict. of Artists; Burke's Landed Gentry.]

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