Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Haydon, Benjamin Robert (1786-1846), ah eminent but unfortunate historical painter, was the son of a printer and publisher at Plymouth. His artistic tastes were encouraged by Dr. Bidlake, the grammar-school master, and he afterwards acquired a good general education at Plympton. He was for awhile his father's apprentice, but in 1801 started for London to make his fortune as an artist. He attended the Academy schools and anatomical lectures, and became acquainted with Wilkie, Prince Hoare, and Fuseli. In 1807 bis Joseph and Mary was hung on the line at the Royal Academy, and was afterwards bought for 100 guineas. His Dentatus, inspired by the Elgin marbles (which he was the first Englishman to appreciate), was badly hung in 1809. Macbeth was next executed for Sir George Beaumont, but the artist was unable to obtain election to the Academy, which, in 1812, he attacked in the pages of the Examiner. Two years later his Judgment of Solomon created a sensation at the Spring Gardens Water Colour Exhibition, and was sold for a large sum. Haydon received the freedom of his native town, where, as well as at Liverpool and Birmingham, the above-mentioned picture was exhibited, though with little profit. Christ's Entry into Jerusalem occupied him six years, but left hini penniless at its completion. His next picture. Lazarus, was seized by his creditors, and sold for £30, and he had to go to prison. In 1835 he began to lecture, and this form of work afforded; him much relief. His last years were embittereu, by his not obtaining a commission to decorate tfc walls of the Houses of Parliament and by trie failure of an exhibition at the Egyptian Hall; and in despair he shot himself.