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George Dawe, by
|Born||6 February 1781
|Died||15 October 1829 (aged 48)
One of his brothers was
George Dawe was born on 6 February 1781 to
Dawe was baptised on 25 February 1781 at St James' Church in
He collected old masters and studied modern and classical languages, philosophy and literature. He also studied anatomy as part of his pursuit of a better understanding of the human form and undertook human dissections in his own home as well as attending operations to improve his knowledge of the human body.
His painting of classical subjects won much praise and were the making of his early reputation but he was more interested in financial success and sought portraiture commissions which were lucrative and which brought him into contact with high society. However, the direct way in which he promoted his own work was not approved of by artistic society and brought considerable criticism from his contemporaries, one of whom was
He enjoyed the patronage of the
He became a celebrity throughout Europe and mixed with the Russian intellectual elite. Among others he met and knew were
Dawe returned to England in 1828 and stayed for several months. During this time he exhibited many of his recent works and
He returned to St Petersburg in 1829 but soon became increasingly unwell with breathing difficulties following a serious cold. He had had pulmonary weakness throughout life following childhood illness. He returned to London in August 1829 and died on 15 October at the home of his brother-in-law, Thomas Wright, a celebrated engraver. He was buried in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral and his funeral was attended by many artists and officials from the Russian embassy.
The significant body of work he created in Russia is currently housed in the military gallery in the