Katharine Read (1723-1778), Portrait painter
Artist associated with 41 portraits
From an aristocratic family in Dundee. In 1745, she went to Paris to study crayon painting under Maurice-Quentin de La Tour. She moved to Rome in 1751, where she established a portraiture clientele from the Italian aristocracy and the transient British expatriate community in Rome on the grand tour. Read returned to Britain and set up her studio in London in 1753, establishing a reputation as one of the most fashionable portrait painters in crayon, which she sustained for over twenty years. In 1777 Read, accompanied by her niece Helena Beatson, travelled to India in the hope of establishing a practice for herself in Madras. The following year she set sail for the Cape; she died en route and was buried at sea.
by James Watson, after Katharine Read
mezzotint, circa 1765-1770
by Williams, after Katharine Read
line engraving, 1770