Artist biography


Portraitist, painter of subject pictures and book illustrator. Important in the development of an academy of painting. According to Vertue, originated the fashion for painting women in a Rubens costume with a portrait of his wife in 1732. Also according to Vertue he would have carried all before him after the death of Kneller had it not been for his dissipated way of life.

Born in London 9 September 1694, the son of John Vanderbank, Chief Arras Maker to the Wardrobe and head of the Soho Tapestry Manufactory. Probably studied under his father and Richardson; in Kneller's Academy from 1711. Established an academy of painting with Louis Cheron in St Martin's Lane 1720. His first certainly signed work dates from the same year. Visited France to avoid his creditors May–October 1724, but seldom out of debt. His illustrations to Twenty-Five Actions of the Manège Horse were published in 1729 and those to Don Quixote in 1738. Painted Queen Caroline 1736. Died 23 December 1739 at his home in London.

LITERATURE Hans Hammelmann, Book Illustrators in Eighteenth-century England, 1975, pp.79–86

Published in:
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988