Reinagle, Ramsay Richard (DNB00)

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REINAGLE, RAMSAY RICHARD (1775–1862), portrait, landscape, and animal painter, son of Philip Reinagle [q. v.], was born on 19 March 1775. He was a pupil of his father, whose style he followed, and he exhibited at the Royal Academy as early as 1788. He afterwards went to Italy, and was studying in Rome in 1796. Subsequently he visited Holland in order to study from the Dutch masters. After his return home he painted for a time at Robert Barker's panorama in Leicester Square, and then entered into partnership with Thomas Edward Barker, Robert's eldest son, who was not himself an artist, in order to erect a rival building in the Strand. They produced panoramas of Rome, the Bay of Naples, Florence, Gibraltar, Algesiras Bay, and Paris, but in 1816 disposed of their exhibition to Henry Aston Barker [q. v.] and John Burford (Art Journal, 1857, p. 47).

In 1805 Reinagle was elected an associate of the Society of Painters in Watercolours, and in 1806 a member. He became treasurer in 1807, and was president from 1808 to 1812. Between 1806 and 1812 he sent to its exhibitions sixty-seven drawings, mostly Italian landscapes and scenery of the English lakes. During the same period he exhibited portraits and landscapes in oil at the Royal Academy, of which he became an associate in 1814, and an academician in 1823. He was a clever copyist of the old masters, and is said to have been much employed by a picture-dealer in restoring and ‘improving’ their works. In 1848 he sent to the Royal Academy exhibition as his own work a small picture of ‘Shipping in a Breeze and Rainy Weather off Hurst Castle,’ painted by a young artist named J. W. Yarnold, which he had purchased at a broker's shop, and in which he had made some slight alterations. Attention was called to the imposition, and a full inquiry made by the academy resulted in his being called upon to resign his diploma as a royal academician. In 1850 he published in the ‘Literary Gazette’ (pp. 296, 342) two letters in which he unsuccessfully endeavoured to exculpate himself. He continued to exhibit at the academy until 1857, but in his later years sank into poverty, and was assisted by a pension from the funds of the academy. He died at Chelsea on 17 Nov. 1862. George Philip Reinagle [q. v.] was his youngest son.

There are by Reinagle in the South Kensington Museum a small oil-painting of ‘Rydal Mountains’ and seven landscapes in water-colours. The Bridgewater and Grosvenor Galleries have each a landscape by him, and there is in the National Gallery of Scotland a fine copy of the ‘Coup de Lance’ by Rubens. Three plates, ‘Richmond,’ ‘Sion House,’ and ‘The Opening of Waterloo Bridge,’ in W. B. Cooke's ‘The Thames,’ were engraved after him by Robert Wallis, and many of the illustrations in Peacock's ‘Polite Repository,’ from 1818 to 1830, were engraved by John Pye from his designs. There is also a view of ‘Haddon Hall,’ engraved by Robert Wallis, in the ‘Bijou’ for 1828, and one of ‘Bothwell Castle,’ engraved by Edward Finden, in Tillotson's ‘Album of Scottish Scenery,’ 1860.

Reinagle wrote the scientific and explanatory notices to Turner's ‘Views in Sussex,’ published in 1819, and the life of Allan Ramsay in Allan Cunningham's ‘Lives of the British Painters.’

[Roget's History of the ‘Old Watercolour’ Society, 1891, i. 212, 277; Sandby's History of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1862, ii. 35; Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, 1878; Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, ed. Graves and Armstrong, 1886–9, ii. 356; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1788–1857; Art Journal, 1848 p. 280, 1863 p. 16.]

R. E. G.