Joseph Severn

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Joseph Severn (1793-1879) portrait and subject painter, was born in 1793. During his earlier years he pratced portraiture as a miniaturist; and, having studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, he exhibited his first work in oil, Hermia and Helena, a subject from the Midsummer Night's Dream, in the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1819. In 1820, he gained the gold medal and a three years' travelling studentship for his Una and the Red Cross Knight in the Cave of Despair. He accompanied his friend Keats the poet to Italy and nursed him till his death in 1821. In 1861 he was appointed British consul at Rome, a post which he held till 1872, and during a great part of the time he also acted as Italian consul. His most remarkable work is the Spectre Ship from the Ancient Mariner. He painted Cordelia Watching by the Bed of Lear, the Roman Beggar, Ariel, the Fountain, and Rienzi, executed a large altarpiece for the church of St Paul at Rome, and produced many portraits, including one of Baron Bunsen and several of Keats. He died at Rome August 3 1879.


Original text from a paper copy of the 9th edition EB