Finch, Francis Oliver (DNB00)

FINCH, FRANCIS OLIVER (1802–1862), water-colour painter, son of Francis Finch, a merchant in Friday Street, Cheapside, London, was born 22 Nov. 1802, and spent his boyhood at Stone, near Aylesbury. When twelve years of age, at that time fatherless, he was placed under John Varley, with whom he worked altogether five years, a friend having paid a premium of 200l. Among his earliest patrons was Lord Northwick, a patron of the fine arts, who employed the youth in making views of his mansion and grounds. Some time after leaving his master's studio the same friend who had assisted in placing him there afforded him the benefit of a tour through Scotland. After his return he doubted for some time whether he should continue the practice of landscape or enter as a student at the Royal Academy. He joined Sass's life academy and produced several portraits, but circumstances drawing him back to landscape-painting he became a candidate for admission into the then newly formed Society of Painters in Water Colours. On 11 Feb. 1822 he was elected an associate, and on 4 June 1827 a member of that society. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817, at that period living at 44 Conduit Street, Bond Street. He married in the spring of 1837, and resided for some time in Charlotte Street and afterwards in Argyle Square, Euston Road. On 10 Oct. 1861 Finch lost the use of his limbs, and died 27 Aug. 1862. He possessed a fine voice, and was a thorough musician, as well as a poet. He printed a collection of sonnets entitled 'An Artist's Dream.' Among his best works may be mentioned 'Garmallon's Tomb,' oil (1820); 'View of Loch Lomond' (1822): 'View on the River Tay' (1827); 'View of Windsor Castle' (1829); 'View of the College of Aberdeen' (1832); scene from Milton's 'Comus' (1835); 'Alpine Scene, Evening' (1838); 'A Watch Tower' (1840); 'The Thames near Cookham, Berkshire (1845); 'Ruined Temple, Evening' (1852); 'Rocky Glen, Evening' (1855); 'The Curfew—Gray's Elegy' (1860); 'Pastoral Retreat' (1861); and 'Moonlight over the Sea' (1862). His portrait has been engraved by A. Roffe.

[Memoir and Remains of F. O. Finch, by Mrs. E. Finch, London, 1865, 8vo.]

L. F.