Garrard, George (DNB00)

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GARRARD, GEORGE (1760–1826), animal painter and sculptor, was born on 31 May 1760. He became a pupil of Sawrey Gilpin, R.A. [q. v.], and in 1778 a student of the Royal Academy, where in 1781 he first exhibited some pictures of horses and dogs. Three years later he sent with other pictures a ‘View of a Brewhouse Yard,’ which attracted the notice of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who commissioned him to paint a similar picture. In 1793 he exhibited ‘Sheep-shearing at Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire,’ but early in 1795 it occurred to him that models of cattle might be useful to landscape painters, and from this time he combined painting with modelling. This led him in 1797, with the concurrence of the Royal Academy and some of the leading sculptors of the day, to petition parliament in support of a bill for securing copyright in works of plastic art, and in 1798 he was successful in obtaining the passing of ‘An Act for encouraging the Art of making new Models and Casts of Busts, and other Things therein mentioned’ (38 Geo. III. c. 71). In 1800 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and in the same year he published a folio volume with coloured plates, entitled ‘A Description of the different varieties of Oxen common in the British Isles, embellished with engravings; being an accompaniment to a set of models of the improved breeds of Cattle, executed by George Garrard, upon an exact scale from nature, under the patronage of the Board of Agriculture.’ In 1802 he exhibited ‘A Peasant attacked by Wolves in the Snow,’ but after 1804 he appears to have restricted himself almost entirely to sculpture and modelling. He painted both in oil and water colours, and contributed also to the annual exhibitions of the Royal Academy busts, medallions, bas-reliefs, and groups of animals, such as ‘Fighting Bulls’ and ‘An Elk pursued by Wolves,’ sometimes in marble or bronze, but more often in plaster. He exhibited in all 215 works at the Royal Academy, besides a few others at the British Institution and the Society of British Artists. There is at Woburn Abbey a large picture by him representing ‘Woburn Sheep-shearing in 1804,’ and containing eighty-eight portraits of agricultural celebrities. It has considerable merit, and was engraved in aquatint by the artist himself. Garrard died at Queen's Buildings, Brompton, London, on 8 Oct. 1826.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Sandby's Hist. of the Royal Acad. of Arts, 1862, i. 396; Royal Acad. Exhibition Catalogues, 1781–1826.]

R. E. G.