Burchett, Richard (DNB00)

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BURCHETT, RICHARD (1815–1875), subject painter, was born at Brighton on 30 Jan. 1815. He commenced his art-training at the Birkbeck Mechanics' Institute, in Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane, and about 1841 entered the School of Design then established under the board of trade at Somerset House, in the rooms built for the Royal Academy. Here he so distinguished himself by his attainments in geometry, that he became an assistant-master. He was one of the leaders in the revolt of the students against the management of the school, when about fifty students left it; and, on an inquiry being instituted, Burchett was examined as a representative of the students, the result being that the art school was removed to Marlborough House, and later to South Kensington. Burchett was then appointed one of the assistant-masters, and in 1851 became head-master. In 1855 he published his excellent treatise on ‘Practical Geometry,’ and in the following year his ‘Linear Perspective.’ Burchett exhibited five historical pictures at the Royal Academy between 1847 and 1873, the subject of the first being ‘The Death of Marmion.’ He assisted in the decoration of the dome of the Great Exhibition buildings of 1862, and painted a window in Greenwich Hospital. With the assistance of his pupils he also executed a series of portraits of the Tudor family in the royal ante-chamber at Westminster. He died, while on a visit to Dublin, 27 May 1875. There is in the School of Art at South Kensington a tablet to his memory erected by his pupils.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists (1878); Athenæum, 5 June 1875; MS. notes in British Museum.]

L. F.