Head, Guy (DNB00)

HEAD, GUY (d. 1800), painter, was son of a house-painter at Carlisle, learnt drawing under Captain John Bernard Gilpin, and eventually entered as a student at the Royal Academy. His work was noticed by Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1779 he exhibited a portrait of a gentleman at the Royal Academy, and another in 1780. In the latter year he also sent to the exhibition of the Society of Artists at Spring Gardens a painting of ‘The Fire at London Bridge Waterworks’ and two portraits. In 1781 he sent to the Royal Academy a landscape with the story of ‘Europa,’ and a portrait of Henderson the actor as ‘Richard III.’ With the help of a friend and introductions from Reynolds, Head went to Italy, and resided for some years at Rome. He was a skilful copyist, and his copies of the works of Correggio, Titian, and others were much commended. Some large copies of Rubens's pictures at Antwerp are in the Royal Academy. He also painted, besides portraits, classical subjects of a decorative nature. At the revolutionary outbreak in 1798 he returned to England, with a large collection of drawings, copies, &c., which he intended to exhibit, but died suddenly in London on 16 Dec. 1800. His works were sold by auction in 1805, but his reputation did not survive his death. Two pictures of ‘Echo’ and ‘Iris’ were engraved after him by J. Folo in 1814, and a horse's head by C. Turner.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Seguier's Dict. of Painters; Notes and Queries, 5th ser. xi. 328, 437; Catalogues of the Royal Academy, &c.]

L. C.