Open main menu


LINES, SAMUEL (1778–1863), painter, designer, and art instructor, was born in 1778 at Allesley, near Coventry, where his mother was mistress of a boarding-school. On his mother's death in his boyhood he was placed in the charge of an uncle, a farmer, who employed him in agricultural work. Lines, however, managed to teach himself the rudiments of drawing and painting, and in 1794 he was apprenticed to Mr. Keeling, a clock-dial enameller and decorator of Birmingham, for whom he worked as designer. He was employed in a similar capacity by Mr. Clay, the papier-mâché maker, and also by the die engravers Wyon and Halliday. Among other objects he was frequently employed to design presentation shovels and swords of state, manufactured by Mr. Gunby of Birmingham, a great amateur of art, with a fine private collection, and Gunby's gallery was freely open to Lines, as well as to his contemporary David Cox the elder. In 1807 Lines commenced teaching drawing in Birmingham, using casts to draw from; he set up a school in Newhall Street, met with success, and was able to build himself a house in Temple Row, where he resided for the remainder of his life. In 1809 Lines, with Moses Haughton the elder [q. v.], Charles Barber [q. v.], John Vincent Barber [see under Barber, Joseph], and other artists established a life academy in Peck Lane, New Street, which was in 1814 removed to larger premises in Union Passage. It was in this room that the first exhibition of the works of Birmingham artists was held in 1814. Lines took a large share in the foundation of the Birmingham School of Art in 1821, and on the subsequent foundation of the Birmingham Society of Artists he was elected treasurer and curator, holding those offices till he reached the age of eighty, when he resigned, and was elected an honorary member. Nearly all the artists of the neighbourhood and many from other parts of the country received instruction in drawing at Lines's academy. A good landscape-painter himself, he possessed a great faculty of teaching others, and many of his pupils attained to much excellence. He died at his house in Temple Row on 22 Nov. 1863. A portrait of him by W. T. Roden, and a drawing of ‘Llyn Idwal,’ the property of the Midland Institute, are in the Museum and Art Gallery at Birmingham. He very rarely exhibited out of Birmingham.

Lines, Samuel Restell (1804–1833), painter, third son of the above, was born at Birmingham on 15 Jan. 1804, and was taught drawing and painting by his father. He showed some skill in sketching trees, and was employed to make lithographed drawings for drawing-books. He was an occasional exhibitor at the Royal Academy, and showed much promise. He died at his father's house in Birmingham on 9 Nov. 1833, aged 29.

[Birmingham Daily Post, 22 Nov. 1863; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Cat. of the City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.]

L. C.