Illidge, Thomas Henry (DNB00)

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ILLIDGE, THOMAS HENRY (1799–1851), portrait-painter, born at Birmingham on 26 Sept. 1799, belonged to a family resident near Nantwich in Cheshire. Illidge's father removed to Manchester, and dying early left a young family scantily provided for. Illidge was educated at Manchester, and was taught drawing. He was subsequently the pupil in succession of Mather Brown and William Bradley [q.v.] He tried landscape painting, but married early; and had recourse to portrait-painting as more profitable than landscape-painting. He was successful as a portrait-painter in the great manufacturing towns of Lancashire, painting many of the civic or financial celebrities of the locality. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Liverpool Academy from 1827. In 1842 he came to London, and was from that time a constant exhibitor at the Royal Academy. In 1844, on the death of H. P. Briggs, R.A., he purchased the lease of his house in Bruton Street, Berkeley Square, where he commenced practice as a popular and fashionable portrait-painter. He died unexpectedly of fever on 13 May 1851. There are portraits by him in many public institutions at Liverpool, Preston, and elsewhere.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Art Journal, 1877; Catalogues of the Royal Academy, Liverpool Academy, &c.]

L. C.