(b London, Jan 7, 1774; d Macao, May 30, 1852).
English painter. Although long rumoured to be Irish, Chinnery was brought up in London, where he showed a precocious talent as a portrait painter in the traditions of Romney and Cosway. His grandfather, the calligrapher William Chinnery sr, was the author of Writing and Drawing Made Easy, Amusing and Instructive (London, 1750); his father, William jr, was also a writing master, and exhibited portraits at the Free Society of Artists. George entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1792, and by 1795 had exhibited 20 portraits at the Academy.
In 1796 Chinnery moved to Dublin. There he married his landlord’s daughter, Marianne Vigne, who gave birth to his two legitimate children. He was active in the Royal Dublin Society and in 1798 was Secretary and Treasurer of its Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture. He experimented in several styles and media, to considerable critical acclaim; in July 1801 he received a silver palette ‘in Testimony of his Exertions in promoting the Fine Arts in Ireland’ … from ‘the Artists of Dublin’....