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John Cawse

(1778-1862), Artist

Sitter in 1 portrait
Artist associated with 3 portraits

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Sir George Thomas Smart, by Ebenezer Stalker, published by  Martin Colnaghi, after  John Cawse - NPG D4251

Sir George Thomas Smart

by Ebenezer Stalker, published by Martin Colnaghi, after John Cawse
mezzotint, early 19th century
NPG D4251

Oliver Cromwell and Henry Ireton, by John Cawse - NPG D28697

Oliver Cromwell and Henry Ireton

by John Cawse
lithograph, published 1822
NPG D28697


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Sally Woodcock

16 March 2018, 22:33

John Cawse was a customer of the artists' colourman Charles Roberson of Long Acre from 23/1/1828 to 2/10/1839 and is also likely to be the Mr Cawse who held an account 11/8/1840 to 21/11/1843, with addresses at Hanover Street and 13 Charlotte Street, Bedford Square. There is a gap in his account with the colourman between 1835 and 1839, possibly because of bad debts - Cawse was charged interest by Roberson in 1836.

In the 1841 census there is an artist at Charlotte Street of this name, aged 60, born in Middlesex. In the 1851 census John Cawse is a lodger aged 73, portrait painter and widower, at 1 Smeaton St, Sculcotes, Yorkshire. In the 1861 census John Cawse, artist aged 82, is listed with his daughter, Clarissa Sabina Cawse, miniature painter aged 38, at 44 Devonshire Street, Finsbury but advertises from 8 Frith Street as an artist in PO Directory London & Birmingham 1845. He died at 8 Fisher Street, Red Lion Square, London on 19 January 1862 of congestion of brain (death certificate). His daughter Clara, or Clarissa Cawse (1816-1881) portrait and figure painter and miniature painter, was also a Roberson customer. At some point before Cawse's death, Roberson bought a palette from the artist which was said to have belonged to Sir Joshua Reynolds. Various inscriptions on the palette are recorded, including: 'This palette belonged to James Northcote, RA, & was given me by his sister Sunday Evening May 11th 1834, His Principal Pictures Painted off it. J Cawse' and 'I bought this palette of John Cawse Charles Roberson', see Wendorf, R., 'After Sir Joshua' in P. Coleman and J. Lewis, eds, Representations of the Self from the Renaissance to Romanticism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2000) p. 265; the palette is illustrated on p. 266, fig 12.2. The first inscription is recorded while the palette was still in Roberson's possession in Kempt, R., Pencil and Palette, London: Chatto and Windus (1881) p. 43. The firm listed a copy of this palette for sale in their catalogues c.1910-30. Roberson sold two Reynolds palettes to William Holman Hunt on 13th March 1873.

Cawse's bass viol is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum (168-1882) with his name written on it and dated 1835.

Christine Janet Foreman

12 July 2015, 18:54

Born 25 December 1778, baptized London 27 January 1779 St Mary's, Whitechapel, the son of Charles Woodroffe Caws and his wife Mary. Studied under James Northcote and was also a pupil of John Opie. Began his career as a portrait artist and Teacher of Drawing, but later concentrated on sporting and literary subjects. He is chiefly known for his book published 1840, 'The Art of Painting Portraits, Landscapes, Animals, Draperies, Satin, &c, in Oil Colours'. His name appears between 1801 and 1845 in the catalogues of the British Institution, the Suffolk Street Gallery, the Society of Painters in Watercolours and the Royal Academy in London. Edward Matthew Ward studied in his studio in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. Had strong connections with the theatrical world. Married Mary Fraser 2 August 1807 at St Bride's, Fleet Street, London. Died Registration District of Holborn, 19 January 1862. Had six children.

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