Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Perigal, Arthur
PERIGAL, ARTHUR (1784?–1847), historical painter, descended from an old Norman family driven to England by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, was born about 1784. He studied under Fuseli at the Royal Academy, and in 1811 gained the gold medal for historical painting, the subject being ‘Themistocles taking Refuge at the Court of Admetus.’ He had begun in 1810 to exhibit both at the Royal Academy and at the British Institution, sending to the former a portrait and ‘Queen Katherine delivering to Capucius her Farewell Letter to King Henry the Eighth,’ and to the latter ‘The Restoration of the Daughters of Œdipus’ and ‘Helena and Hermia’ from the ‘Midsummer Night's Dream.’ These works were followed at the Royal Academy by ‘Aridæus and Eurydice’ in 1811, his ‘Themistocles’ in 1812, ‘The Mother's last Embrace of her Infant Moses’ in 1813, and again in 1816, and by a few pictures of less importance, the last of which, ‘Going to Market,’ appeared in 1821. His contributions to the British Institution included ‘Roderick Dhu discovering himself to FitzJames’ in 1811, the ‘Death of Rizzio’ in 1813, ‘Joseph sold by his Brethren’ in 1814, ‘Scipio restoring the Captive Princess to her Lover’ in 1815, and, lastly, ‘The Bard’ in 1828. He for some time practised portrait-painting in London; but about 1820 he appears to have gone to Northampton, and afterwards removed to Manchester. Finally he settled in Edinburgh, where he obtained a very good connection as a teacher of drawing, and from 1833 onwards exhibited portraits and landscapes at the Royal Scottish Academy. Perigal died suddenly at 21 Hill Street, Edinburgh, on 19 Sept. 1847, aged 63.
His son, Arthur Perigal (1816–1884), landscape-painter, born in London in August 1816, was instructed in painting by his father. At first a drawing-master in Edinburgh, he sent in 1838 to the exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy a study of John Knox's pulpit and some scenes in the Trossachs, and from that time became a regular contributor of landscapes, sending more than three hundred. He roamed in search of subjects over all parts of Scotland, and occasionally into the mountainous districts of England and Wales. He repeatedly visited Switzerland and Italy, and also made an extended tour in Norway; but his preference was for the scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the banks of the Tweed and Teviot. In 1841 he was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, and in 1868 he became an academician. He painted also in water-colours, and exhibited occasionally at the Royal Academy and other London exhibitions. He was a keen and skilful angler. He died suddenly at 7 Oxford Terrace, Edinburgh, on 5 June 1884, and was buried in the Dean Cemetery. ‘Moorland, near Kinlochewe, Ross-shire,’ by him, is in the National Gallery of Scotland.[Edinburgh Evening Courant, 20 Sept. 1847; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1810–1821; British Institution Exhibition Catalogues (Living Artists), 1810–28; Royal Scottish Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1833–47; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878. For the son, see Scotsman, 6 June 1884; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Graves and Armstrong, 1886–9, ii. 273; Royal Scottish Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1838–1884; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1861–84.]