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John Opie

Born 1761, the son of the village carpenter in Mithhian near St Agnes. From an early age he showed a great talent in drawing. An artist was not considered as employment for a poor boy, and he became an apprentice in his fathers business. Dr Walcot from Truro befriended him and encourages his talents, and gave Opie an education in mathematics and science as well as drawing and painting. Dr Walcot took him to London and introduced him to Sir Joshua Reynolds, President of the Royal Academy. By 1782 his work was on display in the Royal Academy, and for the next twenty years he was the most fashionable portrait painter in London, painting some 700 portraits.

However he died young, in 1807 after a short illness. He was buried in St Paul's cathedral.





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