Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sillett, James

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SILLETT, JAMES (1764–1840), painter, son of James Sillett of Eye, Suffolk, was born at Norwich in 1764, and, after working there for a time as an heraldic painter, came to London, where he was employed as a copyist by the Polygraphic Society. From 1787 to 1790 he studied in the schools of the Royal Academy. He became a good miniaturist, and also painted game, fruit, and flowers with considerable skill; he was an exhibitor of works of this class at the Royal Academy from 1796 to 1837. About 1804 Sillett went to reside at Lynn, where he taught drawing and made the illustrations for Richards's ‘History of Lynn,’ published in 1812. In 1810 he removed to Norwich, where he passed the remainder of his life in the constant practice of his art. He was president of the Norwich Society of Artists in 1815, but was one of the seceders from the original body. He published in 1826 ‘A Grammar of Flower Painting,’ and in 1828 a set of fifty-nine views of public edifices in Norwich. He died at Norwich on 6 May 1840. He had married in 1801 Ann Banyard of East Dereham, through whom he became possessed of some property. Sillett left a daughter Emma, who was well known as a flower-painter, and a son, James Banyard Sillett, who survives.

[Art Union, 1840, p. 91; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. i. 39, 135, 194, 358; information from James Reeve, esq., of Norwich.]

F. M. O'D.