Grant, William James (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

GRANT, WILLIAM JAMES (1829–1866), painter, born at Hackney in 1829, showed an early talent for drawing, and at the age of ten was much impressed by the Elgin marbles. He studied drawing regularly, attended Haydon's lectures, and obtained two prizes from the Society of Arts. In 1844 he became a student of the Royal Academy, and in 1847, while still a student, exhibited his first picture, ‘Boys with Rabbits.’ In the following year he aimed higher, with ‘Edward the Black Prince entertaining the French King after the Battle of Poitiers.’ During the next few years he painted chiefly sacred subjects, such as ‘Christ casting out the Devils at Gadara’ (1850), ‘Samson and Delilah’ (1852). In 1853 he reverted to historical subjects, and among his later pictures may be noticed ‘Mozart's Requiem’ (1854), ‘Scene from the Early Life of Queen Elizabeth’ (1857), ‘Eugene Beauharnais refusing to give up the Sword of his Father’ (1858), ‘The Morning of the Duel’ (1860), ‘The Last Relics of Lady Jane Grey’ (1861). In 1866 he exhibited ‘The Lady and the Wasp’ and ‘Reconciliation,’ but died on 2 June in that year, at the early age of thirty-seven. All his works showed great promise. A picture of ‘The Widow's Cruse of Oil,’ painted for a private commission, was exhibited only at Liverpool. Grant also executed numerous drawings in red and black chalk, chiefly illustrations to poetry.

[Art Journal, 1864, p. 233; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760-1880 ; Royal Academy Catalogues.]

L. C.