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Beechey, Sir William

Beechey, Sir William (1753–1839). Portrait painter. Beechey was born in Burford (Oxon.), entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1772, and from his first exhibition four years later, enjoyed a modest success. He moved to Norwich in 1781 before returning to London, where for many years he was a fashionable painter. In 1793 he was elected ARA and in the same year appointed portrait painter to Queen Charlotte and instructor to the princesses. A careful painter, he paid meticulous attention to making his paintings durable. Ironically, the painting considered his best and certainly his most ambitious work, for which he was knighted and elected RA in 1798, King George III Reviewing the 10th Hussars and the 3rd Dragoons, was destroyed by fire at Windsor castle in 1992.

June Cochrane

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