English painter. He is generally ranked third in the hierarchy of 18th-century society portrait painters, after Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. His art is often repetitive and monotonous, yet at its best is characterised by great refinement, sensitivity of feeling, elegance of design and beauty of colour. As a society painter he typified late 18th-century English artists who, compelled by the conditions of patronage to spend their time in producing portraits, could only aspire to imaginative and ideal painting.
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