Fuller, Isaac

, was an English painter of some note in the reign of Charles II. but of his family or masters we have no account, except that he studied many years in France under Perrier, who engraved the antique statues. In his historical compositions he has left little to admire, his colouring being raw and unnatural, and not compensated by disposition or invention, but in portraits his pencil was bold, strong, and masterly. In the latter he was much employed, particularly at Oxford. His own portrait | in the gallery there is touched with great force and character. The altar-piece of Magdalen was also by him, but has not been much approved. As an imitation of Michel Angelo, it falls far short of the sublime, although sometimes wild imagination of that great artist; nor is the colouring harmonious. Some of the figures, however, are correctly drawn; and he has at least imitated the temper of Michel Angelo with success, in introducing among the damned, the portrait of an hostler at the Greyhound-inn, near the college, who had offended him. The picture, it is well known, was honoured by Addison in an elegant Latin poem. At Wadham college is an altar-cloth by Fuller in a singular manner, and of merit; which is just brushed over for the lights and shades, and the colours melted in with a hot iron. Soon after the restoration, he was engaged in painting the circumstances of king Charles II.'s escape, which he executed in five large pictures. These were presented to the parliament of Ireland, where they remained for many years in one of the rooms of the parliament house in Dublin. But some time in the last century the house undergoing a thorough repair, these pictures were not replaced, but lay neglected, until they were rescued by the late earl of Clanbrassil, who obtained possession of them, and had them cleaned and removed to his seat at Tullymore park, co. Down, where they were a few years ago. Lord Orford speaks slightingly of these, which he had never seen, and probably with as much justice as of Fuller’s altar-piece at All-souls college, which he never could have seen, for Fuller had no picture there. Fuller died in Bloomsbury-square July 17, 1672, and left a gon, an ingenious but idle man, chiefly employed ia coach -painting, who died young. 1


Orfind’s Painters,Chalmers’s Hist, of Oxford. —Gent. Mag, vol. LXXIX, P, 291.