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Opie
Opie
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the Brompton Consumption Hospital are some works by Opie bequeathed by Miss Read in 1871. Among the great men of the day Opie painted Dr. Johnson (for whom he had a profound admiration) three times, Bartolozzi, John Bannister, Munden, and Betty (the young Roscius), Fox and Burke, John Crome and Northcote, Fuseli and Girtin, Southey, Dr. Parr, Mrs. Inchbald, and Mrs. Shelley. Altogether he executed 508 portraits (counting each head in family groups), all of which, with a very few exceptions, were in oil. Others of his pictures numbered 252.

The notes of Opie's character, both as an artist and a man, were originality, manliness, and sincerity. A carpenter's son in a remote village, without any regular instruction in art and without opportunity to study the works of great artists, he, at the age of nineteen, produced pictures which aroused the admiration and envy of the most distinguished artists in the country; at the age of twenty-five he had achieved the highest honours of his profession, and he fully sustained his reputation till his death. The merits of his work, in some respects, are perhaps even more perceptible now than when he painted. The unusual largeness of his manner, the contempt for small attractiveness of any kind, the freedom and force of his execution, the noble gravity of his feeling, distinguish his pictures from those of all his contemporaries, in a manner more favourable to their appreciation than in days when the public were accustomed to the polished grace and vivacity of Reynolds and Gainsborough, Hoppner and Lawrence. The reputation of Opie, which has risen considerably of recent years, was greatly increased by the reappearance of his fine picture of ‘The School’ (an early work engraved by Valentine Green in 1785), which was lent by Lord Wantage to the collection of English pictures (1737–1837) at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1888. Its rich but sombre colour, its fine chiaroscuro, the grave feeling in the heads, suggested at least affinity with the unimaginative side of Rembrandt. It is to this class of art that Opie belongs, the class of serious realism and strength of light and shade. His realism was not only serious but intellectual, for he painted with his brains as well as his brush. Authentic testimonies to his mental endowments, his talent for repartee, the weight and pith of his observations, are numerous. His memory was extraordinary. He knew Shakespeare, Milton, and many other poets ‘almost by heart.’ Horne Tooke said: ‘Mr. Opie crowds more wisdom into a few words than almost any man I ever knew; he speaks, as it were, in axioms, and what he observes is worthy to be remembered.’ Sir James Macintosh remarked that, ‘had Mr. Opie turned his mind to the study of philosophy, he would have been one of the first philosophers of the age.’ More convincing still is the testimony of Opie's caustic rival, Northcote, who never allowed his jealousy to interfere with his admiration of the wonderful Cornishman. But even from his devoted wife's testimony it is evident that he never overcame entirely the roughness of his manners. His very candid friend, Mrs. Inchbald, wrote after his death: ‘The total absence of artificial manners was the most remarkable characteristic, and at the same time the adornment and deformity, of Mr. Opie.’

[Redgrave's Dict. of English Artists; Redgraves' Century of Painters; Bryan's Dict. (Graves and Armstrong); Royal Academy Catalogues; Northcote's Life of Reynolds; Knowles's Life of Fuseli; Taylor and Leslie's Life of Reynolds; Leslie's Handbook to Young Painters; Nollekens and his Times; Pilkington's Dict.; Seguier's Dict. of Painters; Polwhele's Biographical Sketches; John Taylor's (author of ‘Monsieur Tonson’) Records of my Life; Memoirs of Thomas Holcroft; Redding's Personal Reminiscences; Cunningham's Lives of Painters (Heaton); Cunningham's Lives of Eminent Englishmen; Lectures on Painting by the late John Opie, with Memoir by Mrs. Opie, and other accounts of Mr. Opie's Talents and Character; Opie and his Works, by John Jope Rogers (1878); Bibliotheca Cornubiensis, vol. ii. and Supplement. A very full list of authorities will be found in the two works last named.]

C. M.

O'QUINN, JEREMIAH (d. 1657), Irish presbyterian minister, was born at Templepatrick, co. Antrim. His parents were Roman catholics, and his mother-tongue was Gaelic. On his becoming a protestant, he was patronised by Arthur Upton of Castle Upton, the proprietor of Templepatrick, who, with a view to his becoming a preacher to the Gaelic-speaking population, sent him to Glasgow University, where ‘Jeremias Oquinus’ graduated M.A. in 1644. On 4 Oct. 1646 he was present as an ‘expectant’ (licensed preacher) at the admission of Anthony Kennedy (d. 11 Dec. 1697, aged 83) to the charge of Templepatrick parish. Shortly afterwards he was called by a majority to the charge of Billy parish, co. Antrim. His settlement was opposed by a party headed by Donald McNeill, who appealed from the army presbytery (constituted 10 June 1642) to the English parliamentary commissioners sent to Ulster in October 1645. The presbytery successfully resisted this appeal from a spiritual court to the civil authority, and O'Quinn was admitted to Billy. Patrick Adair [q. v.] describes him as ‘of great repu-