(25 December 1766 - 6 August 1844)
Drummond was born to Jane Bicknell and James Drummond, a London baker. At about thirteen Drummond was apprenticed to the sea service, working on the Baltic trade routes for six or seven years. After the navy, Drummond worked briefly as a clerk before entering the Royal Academy Schools on 15 July 1791. Drummond started his portraying with crayons and oil and within several years exhibited over three hundred pictures at the Royal Academy. In 1808, he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy.
Among Drummond's sitters were Walter Scott, Francis Place, Elizabeth Fry and Marc Isambard Brunel. He also painted such persons as Admiral Edward Pellew, Captain William Rogers and Rear-Admiral William Edward Parry. After 1800, Drummond started large oil paintings on maritime history of the United Kingdom (The Battle of the Nile, 1st August 1798, Captain William Rogers Capturing the Jeune Richard, 1 October 1807, Admiral Duncan at the Battle of Camperdown, 11 October 1797 (1827) and a series of paintings on the death of Horatio Nelson.
For some time Drummond was employed by The European Magazine and London Review to make portraits of leading personalities of the day. Among the portraits published in The European Magazine were those of Lord Gerald Lake, Sir John Soane and Friedrich Accum.
Towards the end of the life, despite of continuing his craft, Drummond struggled financially and was frequently supported from the funds of the Royal Academy. Nearly all Drummond's children from his three marriages became artists (five daughters and one son): Rose Emma from the first, Ellen, Eliza Ann and Jane from the second to Rose Hudson and Rosa Myra and Julian from the third one.
History of the Royal Academy, William Sandby, 1862; Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 16 Drummond, Samuel by Robert Edmund Graves, (1888). ed. Stephen, Leslie.
DRUMMOND, Samuel, an English portrait and historical painter, was born in London in 1765. He studied in the Royal Academy, of which he became an Associate in 1808, and afterwards curator of the Painting School. He died in 1844.
Amongst his works are:
Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers, Vol. II, 1903
DRUMMOND, SAMUEL (1765–1844), portrait and historical painter, was born in London on 25 December 1765. His father fought for the Pretender in 1745, and in consequence was obliged to leave the country for some time. At the age of fourteen Samuel ran off to sea, but after six or seven years he left the service, and determined to devote himself to art. Without having had any instruction he began by drawing portraits in crayons, and for several years he was employed upon the European Magazine. He then attempted painting in oil, and exhibited for the first time some portraits at the Society of Artists in 1790. In 1791, he sent to the Royal Academy ‘Wilton's First Sight of Olivia’ and two other pictures; in 1793, two sea-pieces, with some portraits; in 1801, ‘The Woodman;’ and in 1804, ‘The Drunken Seaman ashore’ and ‘Crazy Jane.’ In 1808 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, where many years later he succeeded Archer James Oliver as curator of the painting school. He gained some repute by his naval subjects, such as the ‘Death of Nelson,’ exhibited at the British Institution in 1807, the ‘Battle of Trafalgar,’ and the ‘Battle of the Nile,’ exhibited at the same place in 1825, the first two of which have been engraved, and a large picture of ‘Admiral Duncan receiving the Sword of the Dutch Admiral De Winter after the Battle of Camperdowne,’ exhibited in 1827, a commission from the directors of the British Institution, by whom it was presented to Greenwich Hospital. In 1829 he sent to the British Institution ‘The Gallantry of Sir Walter Raleigh.’
His principal occupation was portrait-painting, but he also painted landscapes, in which he imitated the Florentine pictures of Wilson. His later works were chiefly subjects from the Bible and the poets, some of which have been engraved. Between 1790 and 1844, he exhibited 303 pictures and drawings at the Royal Academy, and 101 at the British Institution and other London exhibitions. In the latter part of his life his circumstances became reduced, and he frequently received assistance from the funds of the Royal Academy.
Portraits by him of the elder Charles Mathews, the comedian, and of Richard Parker, the leader of the mutiny at the Nore, were in the National Portrait Exhibition of 1867. In the National Portrait Gallery are a portrait in oil of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836, and a miniature on ivory of Mrs. Fry.
[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, 1878; Sandby's History of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1862; Seguier's Critical and Commercial Dictionary of the Works of Painters, 1870; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1791–1844; British Institution Exhibition Catalogues (Modern), 1807–43.]
View artist's work: Samuel Drummond (1766-1844)