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Robert Dighton (1751-1814), Portrait painter, caricaturist and actor

Sitter in 4 portraits
Artist associated with 271 portraits
Entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1772 and afterwards set up as a drawing-master and miniature portrait painter. The first prints that he designed were of actors in character for John Bell's edition of Shakespeare's works (1775-6). Dighton became well known as a caricaturist. He satirised lawyers, military officers, actors and actresses, as well as tailors, academics and the down-at-heel types. For a time he combined his career as artist and printseller with that of an actor and singer in the West End. In 1806, Dighton achieved notoriety when it was discovered that he had been stealing prints from the British Museum. His son, Richard Dighton, was also a caricaturist.

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Robert Dighton

by Robert Dighton
pen and sepia wash, circa 1787
NPG 2815


Robert Dighton in the character of Dennis O'Neal

after Unknown artist
hand-coloured etching, 1792 or after
NPG D13276


Robert Dighton

by Robert Dighton
etching, published 1795
NPG D10956