William Beale

1 portrait

William Beale, by Charles John Robertson, 1815 - NPG 5265 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

William Beale

by Charles John Robertson
watercolour on ivory, 1815
5 1/4 in. x 3 7/8 in. (133 mm x 98 mm)
Purchased, 1979
Primary Collection
NPG 5265

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William Beale first served as a chorister at Westminster Abbey before going to sea as a midshipman. He later devoted his career to music and became an organist and composer of glees and madrigals. Around 1816 he is recorded as living in Westminster, and the organ depicted here may be that of Westminster Abbey. This miniature, painted in watercolour on ivory, is dated on the reverse to 7th September 1815. Very little is known about the artist who made it, apart from the fact that he studied at the Royal Academy schools and for a time belonged to a sketching club of which Alfred Edward Chalon was also a member.

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