Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Plott, John

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PLOTT, JOHN (1732–1803), miniature-painter, was born at Winchester in 1732. In early life he was employed by an attorney, and in 1756 acted as clerk of the accounts for the maintenance of French prisoners quartered near Winchester. He then turned to art, and, after receiving some instruction in landscape from Richard Wilson, became a pupil of Nathaniel Hone, whom he assisted in his miniatures and enamels. Plott practised miniature-painting with success both in London and Winchester, exhibiting with the Incorporated Society from 1764 to 1775, and at the Royal Academy from 1772 to the end of his life. Having a taste for natural history, he also executed a number of beautiful water-colour drawings of that kind, including a series for a projected work on ‘Land Snails,’ which remained unfinished at his death. Late in life Plott became a member of the corporation of Winchester, and he died there on 27 Oct. 1803. He was an intimate friend of George Keate [q. v.], and some of their correspondence is now in the possession of Mr. G. B. Henderson of Bloomsbury Place; it appears from one of the letters that Plott was twice a candidate for a librarianship in the British Museum. Plott painted a miniature of Keate, which was engraved by J. K. Sherwin as a frontispiece to his ‘Poems,’ 1781. A portrait of Plott, scraped in mezzotint by himself, is mentioned by Bromley (Cat. of Engraved Portraits) and in the Musgrave catalogue, but is not otherwise known.

[Edwards's Anecdotes of Painting; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; information from G. B. Henderson, esq.]

F. M. O'D.