Kirk, Thomas (1765?-1797) (DNB00)


KIRK, THOMAS (1765?–1797), painter and engraver, born about 1765, was a pupil of Richard Cosway, R.A. [q. v.] He attained some excellence as a painter of historical subjects in the insipid prettiness of the time, and also as a miniature-painter in the style of Cosway. In 1765 he exhibited at the Royal Academy ‘Venus presenting Love to Calypso,’ and was an occasional exhibitor of Shakespearean, scriptural, and other subjects up to 1795, when he exhibited a number of drawings illustrating popular works of fiction. In 1796 he exhibited for the last time, sending ‘Evening’ and ‘A Dream.’ He made a number of graceful drawings, which were engraved as illustrations to Cooke's ‘Poets.’ Kirk also practised as an engraver in the stipple method, among his engravings being a portrait of the Pelew prince Lee Boo, from a drawing by Miss Keate, 1789; ‘Shepherds in Arcadia,’ after G. B. Cipriani, 1789; and ‘Titus Andronicus and Lavinia,’ from his own painting, done for Boydell's ‘Shakespeare,’ 1793. He painted other pictures for Boydell, and also for Macklin's ‘Bible.’ Kirk died of consumption 18 Nov. 1797, and was buried in St. Pancras Church. He worked on an engraving up to the day before he died. There is a pretty admission ticket designed by him for a concert of the Choral Fund at the Haymarket Theatre in 1796.

[Dayes's Sketches of Modern Artists; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 33402); Royal Academy Catalogues.]

L. C.