Richard Corbould

(18 April 1757 - 26 July 1831)

Painter who possessed talents of a very versatile kind, which he exercised in nearly every department of his art. He painted, both in oils and water-colours, portraits, landscapes, still life, and history, miniatures on enamel and ivory, also on porcelain, and occasionally etched. He was very clever at imitating the style of the old masters, and yet could show an originality of his own. He first appears as an exhibitor in 1776, at the Free Society of Artists, to which he sent ‘The Morning,’ after Claude Lorraine, a stained drawing, ‘A Bunch of Grapes,’ and another landscape. In 1777, he sent a miniature to the exhibition of the Royal Academy, and continued to exhibit there numerous pictures in varied styles up to 1811. Among these may be noticed:
‘Cottagers gathering Sticks’ (1793);
Four pictures representing ‘The Seasons’ (1794);
‘The Fisherman's Departure’ and ‘Return’ (1800);
‘The Millennial Age; Isaiah xi. 6, 8’ (1801), a picture very much admired at the time;
‘Eve caressing Adam's Flock’ (1802) and;
'The Archangel Michael' (1802);
‘Hero and Leander’ (1803);
'The Loss of the Romney' (1805);
'Ulysses's Descent into Hades, (1806);
'View at Hampstead' 1806 (In the South Kensington Museum);
‘Hannibal on his passage over the Alps, pointing out to his soldiers the fertile plains of Italy’ (1808);
‘Contemplation’ (1811);
He last appears as an exhibitor in 1817, at the British Institution. It is, however, as a designer of illustrations for books that Corbould is most widely known. He was largely employed by publishers, and his illustrations, engraved by the best artists, show great taste, and occupy one of the highest places in that department of art. We may instance those that he contributed to Cooke's pocket editions of English Classics (published 1795–1800), especially those for Richardson's Pamela. Corbould resided for some years in John Street, Tottenham Court Road, but later in life removed to the north of London. He died at Highgate 26 July 1831, aged 74, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Andrew's, Holborn, Gray's Inn Road. He left a family of whom two sons, Henry [q. v.] and George Corbould, also distinguished themselves as painters.

Richard Corbould. "Botany." From Encyclopædia Londinensis or, Universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature. London: J. Wilkes, March 1, 1805. Stipple engravings with some line work by J. Chapman. Hand color. In the era of Enlightenment, books of knowledge, like Encyclopædia Londinensis, took on a new importance and nobility in the scope of book publishing. Fine artists like Richard Corbould were employed to draw allegorical prints to embellish the volumes. Exalting the pursuit of knowledge, these allegorical prints draw on neo-Classical vocabulary to confer nobility on the studies of geography, botany, painting, and others. In classically-draped garments, female figures pose amid Roman architecture and artifact, employing the tools of investigation specific to their discipline.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists; Graves's Dictionary of Artists, (1760–1880); Gent. Mag., (1831), ci. 2; Catalogues of Royal Academy, British Institution; Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 12, Corbould, Richard, by Lionel Henry Cust.]

Richard Corbould, (Younger)

The painter and illustrator Richard Corbould (1757-1831), second generation in a dynasty of five generations of painters and illustrators, was born in London. His illustrative work is typically vignette-style, and seems not just pre-Victorian but pre-19th century in style.

Richard Corbould had five children:

George James Corbould (1786-1846) and
Henry Corbould, FSA* (1787-1844)
John Corbould 1779-____
Aster Richard Chilton Corbould (1811-1882), Painter of cattle and landscapes

Henry Corbould's sons included:

Edward Henry Corbould, R.I.** (1815-1905) - a notable watercolourist
      receiving his artistic education first at Sass’s and then at the RA Schools - and
Alfred Hitchens Corbould (1821-1874) who exhibited at the Royal Academy.

The dynasty continued to a further generation, with Richard's great-grandsons

Walter Edward Corbould (b.1860) and
Alfred Chantry Corbould (1852-1920), making a line of artists from the mid-18th through to the 20th Centuries.

Richard Corbould's traced works include:
- Suffolk Landscape with Two Women (sold at auction - Sotheby's New York)
- Landscape on Copper Plate ca,1790 and watercolour illustrations used for illustrating
      late 18th/early 19th century books.

First of a dynasty of painters and illustrators from the 18th to the 20th century, Corbould’s work is typically vignette-style and seems not just pre-Victorian but pre-19th century in style. Examples of Richard Corbould's book illustrations can be found in Cooke's 18th century editions of Daniel Defoe's The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1790) (three volumes) and Jonathon Wild the Great (one volume). He also illustrated the 1786 Harrison edition of Lydia, a novel by John Shebbeare. Corbould was one of the most successful and versatile artists, producing landscapes, genre, historical subjects, miniatures, and portraits, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1777 to 1811. He painted even on porcelain and enamel. Corbould had a long association with the book publisher C. Cooke, illustrating Daniel Defoe's The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1790) among many others [Benezit III, 163]

There exists a private collection of a number of watercolour originals by Richard Corbould of illustrations for the Cooke's editions. The two miniature portraits of Richard Corbould were painted on ivory early in the 20th century by Walter Edward Corbould. Walter Edward used earlier portraits (the older by W. A. Boehm, R.A.) as the source of his miniatures. The second (younger) miniature appears in Poulter's The Corbould Genealogy.

* FSA = Free Society of Artists; **RI - Royal Institute

Related People:
Child of Corbould, George; (English engraver, 1725-1766)
Grandparent of Corbould, Alfred Hichens; (English painter, 1821-1874)
Grandparent of Corbould, Aster Richard Chilton; (English painter and watercolorist, 1811-1882)
Grandparent of Corbould, Edward Henry; (English painter, sculptor, and illustrator, 1815-1905)
Great-Grandparent of Corbould, Alfred Chantrey; (English painter, illustrator, and draftsman, 1852-1920)
Great-Grandparent of Corbould, Walter Edward; (English painter, born 1860)
Member of Corbould family; (English artists, active 18th-19th centuries)
Parent of Corbould, George (English engraver and illustrator, 1786-1846)
Parent of Corbould, Henry; (English painter and illustrator, 1787-1844)

The Corboulds:
George Corbould 1725-1766
John Corbould 1726-1775
John Corbould 1755-1808
Richard Corbould 1757-1831
John Corbould 1779-____
Henry Corbould 1787-1844
Charles Corbould 1787-1825
Aster Richard Chilton Corbould 1811-1882
Edward Henry Corbould 1815-1905
Henry Heath Corbould 1821-1861
Alfred Corbould c.1821–1874
Alfred Chantrey Corbould 1852-1920
Walter Edward Corbould 1860-19__
Walton Corbould 1859-1919
Eveline Mary Corbould-Ellis 1868-____; Eveline Mary Corbould Haywood (1868-1942)
Enid Mary Corbould-Ellis 1896-____