Henry Singleton (1766 - 1839)
RA Collection: People and Organisations
The portrait and history painter Henry Singleton painted one of the most important group portraits of the early Royal Academicians.
Singleton was born in London in 1766, part of an artistic family. He was raised by his uncle, a pupil of Ozias Humphrey, and he was working as a professional artist by the age of 16. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1783 and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1784 until his death.
In 1793 Singleton received an important commission to paint a large portrait group of The Royal Academicians in General Assembly (1795), which shows the Academicians in the Council Room at Somerset House. Charles Bestland, a printmaker and dealer who published a print of this picture probably commissioned the work. Despite painting this important group portrait, Singleton never became an Academician himself. He was twice rejected for Associateship, in 1807 and 1811.
Singleton first rose to prominence as a history painter. He never fulfilled his potential in this genre but remained popular throughout his life, particularly as a portrait painter. He lived in comfortable circumstances in London and died at the house of a friend in 1839.
Born: 19 October 1766 in London
Died: 15 September 1839
The Royal Academicians in General Assembly, 1800
Portrait of Thomas Sandby, R.A., 1793
Oil on canvas
The Royal Academicians in General Assembly, 1795
Oil on canvas
Two female figures and one male in a street, ca. 1800 ?
Pencil, pen and ink and wash on light grey laid paper
Whitworth, Stoneland, to Ozias Humphry, Prince of Wales Coffee House, Sloane Street, Knightsbridge
30 Aug 1807
[Ozias Humphry], to Lord Whitworth
22 Aug 
[draft] Ozias Humphry, Sloane St., to Lord Whitworth
6 Jun 1807
Ozias Humphry, to [William] Upcott