Catton, Charles (1728-1798) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 09
Catton, Charles (1728-1798)

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CATTON, CHARLES, R.A., the elder (1728–1798), painter, born in 1728 at Norwich, one of a family of thirty-five children, was apprenticed to a London coach-painter, and found time also for some study in the St. Martin's Lane academy. He is chiefly known as a landscape and animal painter, but he had a good knowledge of the figure, and a talent for humorous design. In 1786 he published the ‘Margate Packet,’ a clever etching in which these qualities appear. Somewhat early in life he became a member of the Society of Artists, and exhibited various pictures in its galleries from 1760 to 1764. He shone in his own profession, painting ornamental panels for carriages, floral embellishments, and heraldic devices in a highly superior manner. He received the appointment of coach-painter to George III, and was one of the foundation members of the Royal Academy. In 1784 he was master of the Company of Painter-Stainers. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from its foundation to the year of his death, sending altogether a large number of works. These were usually landscapes, but occasionally subject-pieces and animal paintings. A ‘Jupiter and Leda’ and ‘Child at Play’ were his last works. For the church of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, he painted an altar-piece, ‘The Angel delivering St. Peter.’ Some years before his death he gave up the practice of his art. He died at his house in Judd Place in the New Road, 28 Sept. 1798, and was buried in Bloomsbury cemetery.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists.]