Plympton, 16 July 1723 – London, 23 February 1792
He was one of the most important and influent painters and portraitists of the XVIII century in Great Britain, as well as one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Arts.
He moved to London in 1740, after the gymnasium, where he was an apprentice for four years in the studio of Thomas Hudson.
He went back to Devon in 1743 and started painting ships in Playmouth’s harbour, and was in that moment that he realizes that his formation is not completed. So, he goes back to London and dedicates himself to portraiture and studies the ancient masters until he develops an independent style.
In 1749, with his friend Augustus Keppel, he arrived to Menorca where a fall from a horse held him back for five months, after which he continued his travel to Rome.
In Rome, where he stayed for two years, he was impressed by the ancient Greco-Roman sculptures and by the great masterpieces of the Italian painting, which were the base of inspiration of all his paintings and speeches for the rest of his life.
He stopped by Florence, Bologne and Venice to study the Italian Reinassance. In 1753 he moved to London and had so much success that after two years he had to hire some assistants to help him compose the numerous portraits that were commissioned to him.
In 1768 he founds the Royal Academy, of which he was elected first president and later nominated baronet by King George III.
He dies in 23 February 1792 in London, and was buried in the Saint Paul’s Cathedral.