- David Blayney Brown
(b Great Dunmow, Essex, Nov 6, 1753; d Coleorton, Leics, Feb 7, 1827).
Amateur painter and draughtsman, collector and patron. He was the quintessential amateur, whose interests extended to literature and drama as well as to art; he became the leading arbiter of taste of his day. The painter Thomas Hearne described him as the ‘supreme dictator on works of art’. While Beaumont strongly supported new trends in poetry and did much to foster the careers of William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, he maintained essentially 18th-century standards in his connoisseurship. His love of art had begun at Eton College, where he was taught drawing by Alexander Cozens; it was confirmed in 1771 by a meeting with the engraver William Woollett and Hearne, then Woollett’s pupil. Subsequently Beaumont was guided by a succession of distinguished artists including John Robert Cozens, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, Richard Wilson, Thomas Jones, Joseph Farington, Benjamin West, Thomas Girtin and John Constable. His own work, of which there is a large collection in the ...