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Romney, George(rŏm`nē), 1734–1802, English portrait painter, b. Lancashire. Having had little early training, Romney went to London in 1762, where he rapidly became a popular and fashionable portrait painter. He studied in Italy (1773–75), and returned to England to rival ReynoldsReynolds, Sir Joshua,
1723–92, English portrait painter, b. Devonshire. Long considered historically the most important of England's painters, by his learned example he raised the artist to a position of respect in England.
..... Click the link for more information. in popularity. In 1783, Romney met Emma Hart, the future Lady HamiltonHamilton, Emma, Lady,
1765?–1815, mistress of the British naval hero Horatio Nelson. Born Emma Lyon, she became the mistress of Charles Greville, then of Sir William Hamilton, ambassador to Naples, whom she married (1791).
..... Click the link for more information. , whom he painted many times as various historical figures. During his last years he gave up much of his portrait painting for literary subjects, such as Milton and His Daughters and Scene from "The Tempest" (for Boydell's Shakespeare Gall.). Romney's best portraits are ranked among the finest of the English school. His portraits of women are facile and charming, those of men more studied and impressive (e.g., Self-portrait, 1782; National Portrait Gall., London). He is well represented in the Frick Collection and the Metropolitan Museum, New York City, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
See biography by his son J. Romney (1830); catalogue raisonné by T. H. Ward and W. Roberts (2 vol., 1904).
Born Dec. 15, 1734, in Dalton-in-Fur-ness, Lancashire; died Nov. 15, 1802, in Kendal, Westmorland. English painter and portraitist.
Romney worked in London and Kendal. He visited Paris in 1764, made an extended visit to Italy from 1773 to 1775, and visited Paris again in 1790. Romney was closer to classicism than the other English portraitists of the 18th century. He tended to idealize his subjects, employing smooth compositional rhythms and elegant forms, often modeled after ancient statues; however, his portraits lacked psychological depth (Earl Grey, 1784, Eton College).