Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tweedie, William Menzies

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795000Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 57 — Tweedie, William Menzies1899Campbell Dodgson

TWEEDIE, WILLIAM MENZIES (1826–1878), portrait-painter, born at Glasgow in 1826, was the son of David Tweedie, a lieutenant in the marines. He was himself intended for the navy, but at six years of age he already showed such a talent for drawing portraits that his father was persuaded to allow him to study art. He entered the Edinburgh Academy at the age of sixteen, and remained there for four years, gaining a prize for the best copy of Etty's picture, ‘The Combat.’ In 1843 he exhibited a portrait in oils at the Royal Scottish Academy. In 1846 he came to London and became a student at the Royal Academy. He afterwards studied for three years at Paris under Thomas Couture. In 1847 his ‘Summer’ appeared at the Royal Academy, but he did not exhibit there again till 1856, when he sent a portrait of (Sir) Austen Henry Layard. From that year till 1859 he resided in Rodney Street, Liverpool. He exhibited four pictures, studies and figure-subjects, at the British Institution, 1857–60, and thirty-three in all, portraits with a very few exceptions, at the Royal Academy. He settled in London in 1859, and resided at first in Baker Street, but after 1862 at 44 Piccadilly. His pictures were not always accepted at the Royal Academy, and after 1874 they were invariably refused. This failure affected his health, and he died on 19 March 1878.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists; Royal Academy Cat.]

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