- David Blayney Brown
(b St Petersburg, 1735; d Blackheath [now London], Jan 22, 1823).
Merchant, philanthropist and collector. He was supposedly the natural son of the Empress Anna of Russia and an English merchant. In the course of his career in the City of London he established Lloyd’s on a new footing. He amassed a fortune that he expended on charity and, from about 1790, on collecting paintings, guided by Benjamin West and Thomas Lawrence. Angerstein’s first acquisitions were English pictures: family portraits commissioned from Joshua Reynolds from 1765, and William Hogarth’s Self-portrait with a Pug (1745; London, Tate), bought in 1789. After 1790 he took advantage of the dispersal of Continental collections after the French Revolution and the Napoleonic campaigns to secure Old Masters in prime examples, sometimes at record prices. His early purchase (1794) of Aelbert Cuyp’s Hilly River Landscape (c. 1655–66; London, N.G.) proved to be untypical of a taste that inclined to figure paintings by Raphael, ...