Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 16.djvu/337

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Eastlake
Eastlake
330

Chronicle’ from William Innell Clement [q. v.] in 1834 for 16,500l., and sold his interest in the paper on his retirement from parliament in 1847. On 24 Aug. 1841 he was created a baronet by Lord Melbourne, as a reward for his adherence to the liberal party, and for his advocacy of a war policy in connection with the Syrian affairs. He died at Fir Grove, near Weybridge, Surrey, on 11 Dec. 1865. He married, first, 4 Aug. 1807, Ann, daughter of Jacob Stokes of Leopard House, Worcester; secondly, 19 Sept. 1843, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Colonel A. Skyring, R.A., and widow of Major John Longley, R.A., who died on 23 Jan. 1865.

[Gent. Mag. January 1866, p. 128; Times, 14 Dec. 1865, p. 9; Portraits of Public Characters (1841), i. 76–86; Letters by James Sedgwick, chairman of the Board of Stamps (1845), pp. i–vi.]

G. C. B.

EASTLAKE, Sir CHARLES LOCK (1793–1865), president of the Royal Academy, born at Plymouth on 17 Nov. 1793, was the fourth son of George Eastlake, admiralty agent in that town, an office which had been held by the Eastlakes for some generations. His mother, a ‘woman of refined and gentle nature,’ was Mary, daughter of Samuel Pierce of Exeter, where her family had been long resident. Charles was sent to the grammar school at Plympton, then under Mr. Bidlake, and at the same time he studied French under M. Lelong, and took lessons in drawing from Samuel Prout [q. v.] He was ‘conscientious, painstaking, and ambitious,’ and, though fond of boyish sports, ‘always a quiet and studious boy, and determined to do well whatever he undertook.’ His ‘voluntary delight and recreation was the art of poetry,’ and he was ‘an enthusiast for music. … Industry, application, and self-denial were strenuously taught and practised in his family, and the habitual tone in conversation, and in letters between father, sons, and brothers, was scholarlike, cultivated, and accurate in thought and expression.’ Moreover, William, the eldest of his brothers, was fourteen years his senior, and ‘took an almost fatherly interest and pride in his advancement.’

In the autumn of 1808 he was sent to the Charterhouse, but in December of the same year he announced to his father, in a letter of remarkable firmness and closeness of reasoning, that his resolution to be an historical painter was ‘unalterably fixed.’ He was no doubt influenced by Benjamin Haydon [q. v.], his fellow-townsman, who was then in London engaged upon his great picture of ‘Dentatus,’ which was to effect a revolution in art. Next month, with his father's consent, he became an art student under the charge of Haydon, and was installed in Haydon's old lodgings at 3 Broad Street, Carnaby Market, London. In March he was admitted to the antique school of the Royal Academy, in April to Sir Charles Bell's school of anatomy, in December to the life school of the Academy; in April 1810 he obtained the silver medal of the Society of Arts for a drawing of a bas-relief, and about the same time Mr. Harman, the banker, gave him his first commission for a picture. He read the classics for two hours a day regularly until he could read Virgil and Homer without a dictionary, but this was part of what he deemed necessary for his education as an historical painter. His life indeed, even from these early years, was one of incessant hard work, and methodically regulated. He measured everything and every person with wonderful justice, even Haydon, the defects of whose character and art he soon found out, and Turner, another fellow-townsman, whose genius he at once recognised, and Fuseli, whose ignorance of ‘the mechanical part of the art’ showed Eastlake the importance of mastering it to begin with. He showed from the outset the high aims, the critical faculty, and the interest in both the theory and the technical details of his art, which guided him throughout.

His commission for Mr. Harman was not finished till 1812, for a classical composition on which he had spent a great deal of time, research, and energy, was abandoned for conscientious motives, and the subject of the ‘Raising of Jairus's Daughter’ chosen instead. In 1812 he lost his youngest brother, John, who had conceived an ardent desire to explore the interior of Africa for purposes of philanthropy and science, and died of fever at Sierra Leone six months after he left England. In 1813 Eastlake went home for some months, and painted several portraits, including one of his mother, and another of his old master, Mr. Bidlake. A short trip to Calais in April 1814 was followed in 1815 by a visit to Paris, where he studied with attention the great collections of masterpieces then in the Louvre. He stayed there till Napoleon had escaped from Elba and was about to re-enter Paris. Leaving that city on 19 March (the same day as Louis XVIII), he returned to Plymouth, where he remained painting portraits till the emperor was brought in the Bellerophon to Plymouth Sound. Eastlake hovered round the Bellerophon in a boat, taking rapid sketches, which resulted in a small full-length portrait of the emperor, and another, life-size, with other figures, which