Joseph, George Francis (DNB00)

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JOSEPH, GEORGE FRANCIS (1764–1846), portrait and subject painter, said to be a native of Dublin, was born 25 Nov. 1764. He became a student at the Royal Academy in 1784, and in 1792 gained the gold medal for a ‘Scene from Coriolanus.’ He sent his first contribution to the Academy in 1788, and became a constant exhibitor both there and at the British Institution. In 1797 he painted ‘Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse.’ In 1811 the directors of the British Institution awarded him one-third of their combined premiums of 350 guineas for his ‘Return of Priam with the dead body of Hector,’ and in 1812 one hundred guineas for his ‘Procession to Calvary.’ In 1813 he was elected an associate of the Academy. Joseph painted many fancy subjects, and made designs for book-illustrations, but is best known as a portrait-painter. His portraits both in oil and miniature are very numerous, and some of them have been engraved. He practised in London until 1836, when he retired to Cambridge; there he died in 1846, having continued to exhibit at the Academy until that year, and was buried in St. Michael's churchyard. His portraits of Spencer Perceval, painted in 1812, and Sir Stamford Raffles (1817) are in the National Portrait Gallery, and the print room of the British Museum possesses an interesting portrait of Charles Lamb at the age of forty-four, drawn by Joseph in water-colours.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. iv. 541; Sandby's Hist. of the Royal Academy; Scharf's Cat. Nat. Port. Gall.; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880.]

F. M. O'D.