Kidd, William (1790?-1863) (DNB00)


KIDD, WILLIAM (1790?–1863), painter, born about 1790 in Edinburgh, was first apprenticed to a house-painter, but on the completion of his term made his way to London to study painting. He was an enthusiastic admirer of the works of Alexander Carse [q. v.] and of Sir David Wilkie, and determined to paint domestic scenes from Scottish life in their manner. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817, and at the British Institution in 1818, and was from that time a frequent contributor to both exhibitions, and also to the Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street. Kidd was very successful in depicting the pathos and humour of rustic life, and his pictures have maintained their popularity. Many were engraved, such as ‘The Poacher Detected,’ by T. Lupton, the same picture as ‘Le Braconier Pris,’ and another, ‘Le Baiser Surpris,’ in aquatint by P. Jazet at Paris; ‘Indulging,’ by J. H. Watt; ‘The Poacher's Snare,’ by J. Stewart, &c. In 1849 Kidd was elected an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy. Never able to manage his own affairs, Kidd fell at the end of his life into hopeless financial embarrassment, and was supported finally by his friends and a pension from the Royal Academy. He died in London on Christmas eve, 1863. A picture by him, ‘Contemplating the Times,’ was lent to the Century of British Art Exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1888–9 (No. 29).

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Catalogue of Century of British Art Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, 1888–9.]

L. C.