Haydon, Benjamin Robert (17861846)

Haydon, Benjamin Robert, an English historical painter, born at Plymouth; studied at the Royal Academy, and in 1807 exhibited “Joseph and Mary resting on the Road to Egypt”; two years later occurred his memorable split with the Royal Academy over a supposed slight to his picture, “Dentatus”; “Christ's Entry into Jerusalem” brought him £1700 by exhibition, and his “Judgment of Solomon,” considered his finest work, sold for 700 guineas; despite large sums obtained for “The Mock Election,” “The Reform Banquet,” &c., he was continually in debt, and his high-strung, sensitive temperament, smarting under imaginary slights and weary of unrealised ambitions, led him to commit suicide by shooting himself in his studio; he was an artist of great but unequal genius; he was fascinated with the Elgin Marbles, and the admiration he expressed for them contributed to persuade the Government to purchase them (17861846).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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