Wheatley, Francis

, a late elegant artist, was born in London in 1747; the only regular instruction which he | received was at a drawing-school. He acquired his knowledge of painting without a master; but he had the advantage of seeing much of what was then practised in the art, by the friendship and instructions of Mortimer, whom he assisted in painting the ceiling at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, the seat of lord Melbourne. He also associated much with young men who were or had been under the tuition of the most eminent artists of that period. His inclination appeared to lead him equally to figures and to landscape; but the profit likely to be derived from the former, caused him to make that his particular pursuit. In the early part of his life, he had considerable employment in painting some whole-length portraits. After practising several years in London, he was induced to remove to Ireland, and was much employed in Dublin, where he painted a large picture representing the Irish House of Commons assembled, in which portraits of many of the most remarkable political characters were introduced. From Dublin he returned to London, where he painted a picture of the riots in 1780, from which Heath engraved a very excellent print for Boydell. This picture was unfortunately burnt in the house of Mr. Heath, who then resided in Lislestreet, Leicester-square, it being too large to be moved. Mr. Wheatley continued to paint portraits, but he was chiefly engaged in painting rural and domestic scenes, for which he appeared to have a peculiar talent, and his works of that kind became very popular, although ia his females he adopted too much of the French costume. At an early period of life, he was attacked by the gout, which gradually deprived him of the use of his limbs, and of which he died, June 28, 1801, at fifty-four years of age.

Mr. Wheatley was elected associate of the Royal Academy, Nov.- 17 90, and Royal Academician, Feb. 10, 1791. He was a handsome man, of elegant manners, and generally a favourite in genteel company. He understood his art, and spoke with great taste and precision on every branch of it. His greatest efforts were the pictures he painted for the Shakspeare and Historic galleries. 1


Edwards’s Supplement to Walpole. Pilkiogton —Gent. Mag, vol. LXXI.