A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters and Engravers: From the Revival of the Art under Cimabue to the Present Time
Publication Date 29 Apr 2018
OverviewThe early life of Michael Bryan (1757-1821) was unusual preparation for his later career: born in north-east England, he spent some time as a teacher and actor before moving to London and then to the Low Countries, where his interest in painting and engraving developed. His marriage to the sister of the earl of Shrewsbury (unusual in its crossing of social classes) enhanced his position, as well as his network of contacts when he began dealing in fine art. He arranged the sale of French aristocratic collections that had been dispersed during the revolutionary upheavals, and, by putting these pieces on display prior to their sale, he showcased European artworks for the London public before the National Gallery existed. This valuable reference work was compiled and published in parts during Bryan's retirement, between 1813 and 1816; this reissue is of the 1849 second edition, revised and enlarged by George Stanley.