Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bennett, William Mineard

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BENNETT, WILLIAM MINEARD (1778–1858), miniature-painter, was born at Exeter in 1778. Having left his native city early in life, he placed himself under the instruction of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and attained a considerable reputation as a painter of portraits and miniatures, living in the society of many of the most distinguished literary men of that day, among whom his brilliant wit and versatile talents made him a great favourite. Several of his works were exhibited at the Royal Academy between the years 1812 and 1816, and again in 1834 and 1835. Many years of his life were spent in Paris, where his talents gained for him the patronage and friendship of the Due de Berri; but in 1844 he returned to Exeter, where, practising his art only as an amusement, he resided until his death, which took place on 17 Oct. 1858. Bennett possessed also a thorough knowledge of the science of music, and many of his musical compositions became popular in Paris and Naples.

[Gent. Mag. 1868, ii. 647; Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists, 1878.]

R. E. G.