Read, Catherine (DNB00)

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READ, CATHERINE (d. 1778), portrait-painter, was for some years a fashionable artist in London, working in oils, crayons, and miniature. From 1760 she exhibited almost annually with either the Society of Artists, the Free Society, or the Royal Academy, sending chiefly portraits of ladies and children of the aristocracy, which she painted with much grace and refinement. In 1763 she exhibited a portrait of Queen Charlotte with the infant Prince of Wales, and in 1765 one of the latter with his brother, Prince Frederick. Miss Read resided in St. James's Place until 1766, when she removed to Jermyn Street. In 1771 she paid a brief visit to India with her niece, Helena Beatson, a clever young artist, who there married, in 1777, (Sir) Charles Oakeley, bart. [q. v.], governor of Madras. On resuming her practice, Miss Read settled in Welbeck Street. Many of her portraits were well engraved by Valentine Green and James Watson, and a pair of plates, by J. Finlayson, of the celebrated Gunning sisters, the Duchess of Argyll and the Countess of Coventry, have always been popular. She died on 15 Dec. 1778.

[Edwards's Anecdotes of Painters, 1808; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Cat. of National Portrait Exhibition, 1867; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

F. M. O'D.