Pars, William (DNB00)

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PARS, WILLIAM (1742–1782), portrait-painter and draughtsman, born in London on 28 Feb. 1742, was the son of a chaser. He studied at the St. Martin's Lane academy, and also in the Duke of Richmond's Gallery. In 1761 he exhibited a portrait and miniatures at the Incorporated Society of Artists, and became a member of the Free Society of Artists in 1763. In 1764 he obtained the Society of Arts' medal for an historical painting, and in June of the same year he was selected by the Dilettanti Society to accompany, as draughtsman, Dr. Chandler and Mr. Revett to Greece. The result was published in ‘Ionian Antiquities,’ which was illustrated from Pars's drawings [see Chandler, Richard, 1738–1810]. He returned on 2 Dec. 1766, and soon after accompanied Henry Temple, second viscount Palmerston [q. v.], to the continent, making drawings in Switzerland, the Tyrol, and Rome. In 1769 he contributed seven views from Greece to the first exhibition of the Royal Academy. He was elected an associate in 1770, and in the following year he sent eight European views, chiefly of Switzerland and the Tyrol, together with one portrait. He contributed regularly (chiefly portraits) to the academy exhibitions till 1776. In the summer of the previous year he had started for Rome on the students' pension of the Dilettanti Society, and he remained there till the autumn of 1782, when he died of fever.

A selection of his Greek drawings was engraved by William Byrne for the Dilettanti Society; five of his Swiss drawings, including the ‘Mer de Glace,’ were engraved by Woollett; and several others of his drawings were aquatinted by Paul Sandby.

Many of his drawings made for the Dilettanti Society are in the British Museum, and others are to be found at the South Kensington Museum, the Whitworth Museum at Manchester, and in other collections of the English School of Water-colours, of which he may be regarded as one of the founders.

[Redgrave's Dict.; Roget's ‘Old’ Water-colour Society; Catalogues of Royal Academy, &c.]

C. M.