Guest, Thomas Douglas (DNB00)

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GUEST, THOMAS DOUGLAS (fl. 1803–1839), historical and portrait painter, studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, and in 1803 sent his first contribution to its exhibitions, a portrait of Joseph Wilton, R.A., the sculptor. Next year he was represented by a ‘Madonna and Child,’ and in 1805 gained the gold medal for historical painting, the subject being ‘Bearing the Dead Body of Patroclus to the Camp, Achilles's Grief.’ This work was exhibited at the British Institution in 1807. In 1806 he sent to the Royal Academy ‘Penelope unravelling the Web;’ in 1808 ‘Cupid wrestling with Pan: an allegory;’ in 1809 ‘Venus recumbent, and Cupids;’ and in 1811 ‘Clorinda’ and ‘Cupid and Psyche.’ In 1812 and 1817 he sent similar mythological subjects and a few portraits. In 1834 he sent ‘The Second Appearance of the Messiah’ and ‘The Judgment of Hercules.’ These were followed in 1838 by ‘The Prism’ and ‘Phaeton driving the Chariot of the Sun,’ which were his last contributions to the Royal Academy. Besides these he exhibited several pictures at the British Institution and a few at the Society of British Artists. He also painted in 1809 a large picture of ‘The Transfiguration,’ which he presented as an altar-piece to St. Thomas's Church, Salisbury; remains of it still exist in the vestry. Guest published in 1829 ‘An Inquiry into the Causes of the Decline of Historical Painting.’ In 1839 he sent two small works to the exhibition of the British Institution, and there is no further notice of him.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1803-38; British Institution Exhibition Catalogues (Living Artists), 1807-39.]

R. E. G.