Rothwell, Richard (DNB00)

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ROTHWELL, RICHARD (1800–1868), painter, was born at Athlone, Ireland, in 1800, and received his art training in Dublin, where he worked for a few years. On the incorporation of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1826 he was nominated one of the original associates, and in the same year was elected a full member. Soon afterwards he removed to London, where he became Sir Thomas Lawrence's chief assistant. On the death of Lawrence, Rothwell was entrusted with the completion of his commissions, and had a fair prospect of succeeding to his practice; but he was unable to sustain the reputation which his early works, painted in the manner of Lawrence, gained for him. From 1830 to 1849 he was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy of portraits and fancy subjects, the former class including the Duchess of Kent, the Prince of Leiningen, Viscount Beresford, William Huskisson, and other distinguished persons. During the same period he contributed also to the Royal Hibernian Academy. About 1846 Rothwell returned to Dublin, where, having resigned in 1837, he was re-elected R.H.A. in 1847. From 1849 to 1854 he was again in London, and then removed to Leamington, whence he sent to the Royal Academy in 1858 ‘A Remembrance of the Carnival;’ in 1860 two portraits, and in 1862 ‘The Student's Aspiration.’ The last years of his life were passed abroad, first in Paris and then in Rome, where he died in September 1868. Rothwell's portraits of Huskisson and Lord Beresford are in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and those of himself and Matthew Kendrick, R.H.A., in the National Gallery of Ireland. Three of his fancy subjects, ‘The Little Roamer,’ ‘Noviciate Mendicant,’ and ‘The very Picture of Idleness,’ are in the South Kensington Museum. His ‘Fisherman's Children’ was engraved by S. Sangster for the Irish Art Union.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Armstrong; Art Journal, 1868, p. 245; Royal Academy Catalogues; information kindly furnished by S. Catterson Smith, esq., R.H.A.]

F. M. O'D.