Thomas   Bridgford R.H.A.

(Lancashire, 6 April, 1812 - 21 November 1878, Dublin)

Portrait and Subject Painter. His father, Thomas Bridgford, came to Ireland about 1817 or 1818, and was manager of Simpson's Nursery near Merrion, and eventually started business for himself as a nurseryman and seedsman at Spafield Nursery, Sandymount, and in Sackville Street. His son, at the age of twelve, on 1 April, 1824, was admitted as a pupil in the Royal Dublin Society's Drawing School, and in 1827, when only fifteen years of age, began to exhibit at the Royal Hibernian Academy, and between that year and 1834, contributed seventeen works. He was elected an Associate on 24 October, 1832. In 1834, he went to London and remained there some years, following his profession with some success, and exhibiting in the Royal Academy and the British Institution. In 1844, he returned and settled permanently in Dublin where he exhibited regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy, and was elected a full Member of that body on 23 August, 1851. He followed his profession with unwearied energy, painting portraits and figure subjects, and was also in much repute as a teacher. He taught drawing at the Alexandra College and other institutions. Besides his portraits and other pictures in oil he did a number of small portraits in pencil and water-colour, effective and well-drawn likenesses, though sometimes rather stiff and awkward in pose. He lived for many years at 66 Lower Mount Street. Two days before his death he was occupied with his pupils apparently in full enjoyment of his health; but that night he was seized with illness and his end came rather suddenly. He was buried at Mount Jerome. He married, in 1833, Mary Jane, sister of Surgeon James Sawyer of Dublin, by whom he had a family of five sons and four daughters. Portrait of Himself, as "The Masquerader." [J. H. Bridgford.] A replica is in the National Gallery of Ireland.

A Dictionary of Irish Artists, 1913

Thomas Bridgford was a British artist, in Manchester, England. He produced portraits, paintings, and lithographs, in England and Ireland. Bridgford was born 6 April 1812. He moved with his family to Ireland, in 1817. In 1827, he first showed work at the Royal Hibernian Academy. He went to London in 1834, to work as a portrait painter, returning to Dublin in 1844. Bridgford died 21 November 1878 in Dublin, Ireland.

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