DOWNMAN, JOHN (1749 - 1824), painter

Name: John Downman
Date of birth: 1749
Date of death: 1824
Gender: Male
Occupation: painter
Area of activity: Art and Architecture
Author: Thomas Mardy Rees

Born in Denbighshire (and not in Devonshire as some writers have stated) in 1750. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, 1769, and under Sir Benjamin West; he became A.R.A. in 1795. He practised portrait painting at Cambridge, 1777, visited Plymouth in 1806, and was working at Exeter, 1807-8. He returned to London, where he resided for many years, living afterwards in Chester and finally at Wrexham, where his daughter had married and where she died in 1840. He married the daughter of William Jackson, Exeter, composer, and organist at Exeter cathedral.

He painted subject-pictures in water-colour and oil, amongst them being 'A lady at work,' 'Death of Lucretia,' 'Rosalind.' Bartolozzi engraved a large number of his portraits - 'Duchess of Devonshire,' 'Lady Duncannon,' 'Mrs. Siddons,' etc. He died 24 December 1824, aged 74, at Wrexham.

Editorial note 2023:

John Downman is now known to have been born in Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire, and was baptized there on 12 September 1749. He is believed to have attended a school at Ruabon in Denbighshire.


Published date: 1959

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