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John Inigo Richards RA (1730/31-1810)

John Inigo Richards, RA (1730/31-1810)

John Inigo Richards was a pioneering landscape painter in oil and watercolour, a forerunner of such artists as Paul Sandby. His sketching tours yielded fresh and highly naturalistic images, often of country estates and picturesque historic buildings. These were exhibited at the Royal Academy, of which he became the Secretary, and also informed his work as the principal set painter at Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.

John Inigo Richards was born in London to John Richards, a scene painter who is said to have assisted William Hogarth, in 1737, with the mural decorations for St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Richards told Joseph Farington that William Hogarth had been his godfather. A drawing made by Richards and corrected by Hogarth in 1761 – portraying the Swiss enamellist, Theodore Gardelle, who was executed for murder – appeared as an etching by Samuel Ireland in
Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth (1794-99).

Richards studied under George Lambert, ‘the father of English landscape oil painting’, at St Martin’s Lane Academy and, may have joined him on sketching trips to Kent in the early 1750s.

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