Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howard, Frank

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HOWARD, FRANK (1805?–1866), painter, son of Henry Howard, R.A. [q. v.], was born in Poland Street, London, about 1805. After being educated at Ely he became a pupil of his father and a student of the Royal Academy, and was subsequently an assistant of Sir Thomas Lawrence. He exhibited at the British Institution from 1824 to 1843, his earliest contribution being two subjects from Shakespeare. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1825, when he sent 'Othello and Desdemona' and three portraits, and he continued to exhibit portraits and Shakespearean and poetical subjects until 1833. In 1827 he commenced the publication of a series of clever outline plates, entitled 'The Spirit of the Plays of Shakespeare,' which was completed in five quarto volumes in 1833. After the death of Lawrence he began to paint small-sized portraits, and to make designs for goldsmith's work for Messrs. Storr & Mortimer. In 1839 he exhibited again at the Academy, and in 1842 he sent 'The Adoration of the Magi,' 'Suffer little Children to come unto Me,' and 'The Rescue of Cymbeline.' He contributed in the same year to the British Institution 'Spenser's Faerie Queene, containing Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and her Court.' In 1843 he sent three cartoons to Westminster Hall in competition for the prizes offered in connection with the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, and for one, 'Una coming to seek the assistance of Gloriana,' an allegory of the reformed religion seeking the aid of England, suggested by Spenser's 'Faerie Queene,' he was awarded one of the extra prizes of 100l. The other cartoons were 'The Introduction of Christianity into England' and 'Bruce's Escape on the Retreat from Dairy.' He did not compete in 1844, but in 1845 he sent 'The Baptism of Ethelbert' and 'The Spirit of Chivalry,' and in 1847 'The Night Surprise of Cardiff Castle by Ivor Bach;' but this work did not add to his reputation. About the same time he removed to Liverpool, where he earned during the remainder of his life a precarious livelihood by painting and teaching drawing, as well as by lecturing on art and writing dramatic articles in a local newspaper. He wrote some books on art, the first of which, 'The Sketcher's Manual,' published in 1837, went through several editions. It was followed by 'Colour as a Means of Art,' 1838, 'The Science of Drawing,' 1839-40, and 'Imitative Art,' 1840. He likewise edited Byres's 'Hypogæi, or Sepulchral Caverns of Tarquinia,' 1842, folio, and, with a memoir, his father's 'Course of Lectures on Painting,' 1848. He also drew on stone the plates for Sir William C. Harris's 'Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of Southern Africa,' 1840, and made some designs for church and memorial windows for 'The St. Helen's Crown Glass Company's Trade Book of Patterns for Ornamental Window Glass,' 1850.

He died of paralysis at Liverpool on 29 June 1866 in much distress.

[Art Journal, 1866, p. 286; Gent. Mag. 1866, ii. 280; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1825-46; British Institution Exhibition Catalogues (Living Artists), 1824-43; Exhibition Catalogues of the Society of British Artists, 1829-31; Catalogues of the Cartoons and Works of Art exhibited in "Westminster Hall, 1843-7.]

R. E. G.