John Laporte (artist)
Life and work
Laporte was born into a family of French Huguenot origins, possibly in London or in Ireland, and studied art under the Irish-born Huguenot painter John Melchior Barralet, either in London or Dublin. He became a drawing-master at the Addiscombe Military Seminary, Surrey. He was also a successful private teacher, and Dr. Thomas Monro (the patron of J M W Turner amongst others), was one of his pupils. From 1785 he contributed landscapes to the Royal Academy and British Institution exhibitions in London, and was an original member of the short-lived society called 'The Associated Artists in Watercolours,' from which he retired in 1811. He also painted in oils.
He published: Characters of Trees (1798–1801), Progressive Lessons sketched from Nature (1804), The Progress of a Water-colour Drawing, and, in conjunction with W.F. Wells, executed a set of 72 etchings, entitled A Collection of Prints illustrative of English Scenery, from the Drawings and Sketches of Thomas Gainsborough (1819). His Perdita discovered by the Old Shepherd was engraved by Bartolozzi, and his Millbank on the River Thames by Francis Jukes.
Laporte died in London on 8 July 1839, aged 78.
Laporte's daughter, Miss M. A. Laporte, exhibited portraits and fancy subjects at the Academy and the British Institution from 1813 to 1822; in 1835 she was elected a member of the Institute of Painters in Watercolours, but withdrew in 1846.
His son, George Henry Laporte (d. 1873), an animal painter, exhibited sporting subjects at the Academy, British Institution, and Suffolk Street Gallery from 1818, and was a foundation member of the Institute of Painters in Water-colours, where he showed representations of animals, hunting scenes, and military groups. Some of his works were engraved in the New Sporting Magazine. George Henry Laporte held the appointment of animal painter to the King of Hanover. He died suddenly at 13 Norfolk Square, London on 23 October 1873.
- Laporte, John & Ibbetson, J. C. & Hassell, John. A Picturesque guide to Bath, Bristol Hot-Wells, the River Avon and the adjacent Country (1793)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Laporte, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- 'Laporte's Progress' by John Ramm (Antique Dealer & Collectors Guide, Sep 1996, Vol 50, No. 2)
- 'John Laporte' by Basil Long (Walker's Quarterly, July 1922)
- 'Understanding Watercolours' by Huon Mallalieu (Antique Collectors' Club, 1985)
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