George Chinnery (1774-1852)
In late 1802, just after the present work was painted, Chinnery - joining the ranks of John Smart and Ozias Humphry- received the permission of the East India Company to travel to India and practice his art...
George Chinnery is regarded as one of the foremost portrait painters of the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century.
Born in London, Chinnery exhibited his first portrait miniature at the Royal Academy in 1791 and by 6th July 1792 had enrolled at the Royal Academy schools. The following three years were apparently successful for Chinnery, exhibiting some twenty-one portrait miniatures at the Royal Academy before moving to Dublin in 1796, where he married a local girl named Marianne Vigne.
Like a number of portrait painters working in Ireland, Chinnery’s business suffered from the union of England and Ireland in 1800, which ultimately led to a vast reduction in the number of wealthy patrons and subsequently forced Chinnery’s return to England by 1802. In late 1802, just after the present work was painted, Chinnery, joining the ranks of John Smart and Ozias Humphry, received the permission of the East India Company to travel to India and practice his art, departing on 21st December for Madras.
Chinnery remained in South Asia for the remainder of his career, travelling between Calcutta, Dacca and finally Macau, where he practically stayed for the rest of his life after arriving in 1825. China at this period was experiencing a trading boom with the West, focussed mainly around Canton some eighty miles away, and as a result Chinnery found a wide variety of international patrons for his portraits, as well diverse surroundings for his landscapes and figure studies.