Prentis, Edward (DNB00)

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PRENTIS, EDWARD (1797–1854), painter, born in 1797, first exhibited in 1823 at the Royal Academy, sending ‘A Girl with Matches’ and ‘A Boy with Oranges;’ and in 1825 contributed three pictures to the first exhibition of the Society of British Artists, of which, in the following year, he was elected a member. Thenceforward, throughout his life, he was a steady supporter of the society, and all his works were shown in Suffolk Street. Prentis painted scenes in the domestic life of his own time, humorous, pathetic, and sentimental, which gained considerable temporary popularity; they included such subjects as ‘The Profligate's Return from the Alehouse,’ 1829; ‘Valentine's Eve,’ 1835; ‘The Wife’ and ‘The Daughter,’ 1836 (engraved, as a pair, by J. C. Bromley, 1837); ‘A Day's Pleasure,’ 1841, his cleverest work (engraved); and ‘The Folly of Extravagance,’ 1850, which was the last picture he exhibited. Prentis executed for the trustees of the British Museum a series of accurate and highly finished drawings of the ivory objects found at Nimroud; these were engraved on wood by J. Thompson, and published in Layard's ‘Monuments of Nineveh’ (1849, fol.) Prentis died in December 1854, leaving a widow and eleven children.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Art Journal, 1855, p. 108; Gent. Mag. 1855, pt. i. p. 656; Exhibition Catalogues.]

F. M. O'D.