Andrew Plimer 1763-1837
The officer in this portrait may have returned briefly from campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars, which ended in the uneasy peace formalised in the Treaty of Amiens in 1802...
Although at present unidentified, this portrait shows an officer wearing the uniform in the rank of major-general. He also wears, somewhat unusually, the belt-plate for the second dragoon guards (the silver belt plate is inscribed ‘2DG’). It may be that he still wished to be known for the achievements within his former regiment, where he may have served under the leadership of George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend, (1724-1807). The officer in this portrait may have returned briefly from campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars, which ended in the uneasy peace formalised in the Treaty of Amiens in 1802.
Born in Shropshire and apprenticed to a clockmaker, the artist Andrew Plimer and his brother Nathaniel purportedly ran away, arriving in London in 1781 where Andrew found employment as a manservant in the household of Richard Cosway R.A. (1742-1821). Cosway, who by this point was a highly regarded portrait miniaturist, allowed Plimer to take lessons in painting, and a few years later in 1785 Plimer established his own practice. By the next year Plimer was exhibiting at the Royal Academy from an address in Golden Square, then a fashionable part of London, where he appears to have remained until 1810. In 1835 he retired to Brighton with his family where he died two years later. This portrait dates from the pinnacle of Plimer’s career, when he had developed his style into a recognisable hand. By this date, his patrons were drawn from the fashionable aristocracy who also graced Cosway’s studio.