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William Westall and Richard Westall Collection of Papers and Correspondence: Finding Aid
mssHM 54281-54318, HM 63286  
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This collection contains 39 items of English artists and brothers William Westall (1781-1850), an illustrator of topographical works, and Richard Westall (1765-1836), a painter, book illustrator, and instructor of painting and drawing to the Princess Victoria.
Richard Westall (1765-1836) was born in Hertford, England, in 1765 and, while living in London, worked as an apprentice to an heraldic engraver; in the evenings he studied art and was able to exhibit a portrait-drawing at the Royal Academy in 1784. He continued to paint, both in watercolor and oils, but his main occupation was as a prolific illustrator of books. When his large historical oil paintings did not sell he abandoned the medium and concentrated on book illustrating and painting watercolors, which, according to the Dictionary of National Biography, was his best medium. Toward the end of his life he was an instructor of painting and drawing to the Princess Victoria. Richard Westall never married and lived most of his life in London; he died there on December 4, 1836. William Westall (1781-1850) was born in Hertford, England, in 1781 and was the younger brother of Richard Westall (1765-1836). He was taught drawing by his brother and in 1801, at the age of eighteen, began a series of voyages throughout Australia, China, India, Madeira, and Jamaica. When he returned to England in 1807 he began to paint pictures from the drawings he made on his journeys. These paintings were only moderately successful and he eventually began to gain employment as an illustrator of topographical works for various publishers; though he continued to paint and exhibit at the Royal Academy, he became best known for his topographical illustrations. He married Ann Sedgwick in 1820 and moved to St. John’s Wood where he lived for most of the remainder of his life and where he died in 1850.
39 letters + one manuscript volume and a folder of ephemera in 1 box
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