William James Grant

(1829 - 2 June 1866)

Born at Hackney in 1829, showed an early talent for drawing, and at the age of ten was much impressed by the Elgin marbles. He studied drawing regularly, attended Haydon's lectures, and obtained two prizes from the Society of Arts. In 1844 he became a student of the Royal Academy, and in 1847, while still a student, exhibited his first picture, 'Boys with Rabbits.'

In the following year he aimed higher, with
'Edward the Black Prince entertaining the French King after the Battle of Poitiers.'
During the next few years he painted chiefly sacred subjects, such as
'Christ casting out the Devils at Gadara' (1850),
'Samson and Delilah' (1852).
In 1853 he reverted to historical subjects, and among his later pictures may be noticed
'Mozart's Requiem' (1854),
'Scene from the Early Life of Queen Elizabeth' (1857),
'Eugene Beauharnais refusing to give up the Sword of his Father' (1858),
'The Morning of the Duel' (1860),
'The Last Relics of Lady Jane Grey' (1861).
In 1866 he exhibited
'The Lady and the Wasp' and
'Reconciliation,'
but died on 2 June in that year, at the early age of thirty-seven. All his works showed great promise. A picture of 'The Widow's Cruse of Oil,' [The phrase widow's cruse is defined as "an inexhaustible supply of something."]
painted for a private commission, was exhibited only at Liverpool. Grant also executed numerous drawings in red and black chalk, chiefly illustrations to poetry.

[Art Journal, 1864, p. 233; Redgrave's Dict of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760-1880; Royal Academy Catalogues.]

Historical painter, was born at Hackney. At about the age of sixteen he entered the schools of the Royal Academy, and within two or three yeara exhibited his first work, 'Rabbits,' and was from that time a frequent exhibitor, sending in 1852 'Samson and Delilah;' in 1858, 'The Last Trial of Madame Palissy;' in 1860, 'The Morning of tlie Duel;' and in 1861, 'Tlie Last Relics of Lady Jane Grey.' He was a promising artist, but died in 1866, at the early age of thirtv-seven.

[Bryans Dictionary of painters and engravers, 1899]


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