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date: 23 August 2019

Frye, Thomaslocked

(b in or near Dublin, c. 1710; d London, April 2, 1762).
  • David Alexander


(b in or near Dublin, c. 1710; d London, April 2, 1762).

Irish painter, mezzotint-engraver and porcelain manufacturer, active in England. He probably trained in Dublin, benefiting from the example of the portrait painter James Latham. However, there were few opportunities for portrait painters in Dublin, and by 1735 he had moved to London. He was sufficiently established by 1736 to be commissioned by the Saddlers’ Company, London, to paint a full-length portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales (destr.; version, Windsor Castle, Berks, Royal Col., see Millar, no. 543). Frye engraved this portrait himself in mezzotint (1741; see Chaloner Smith). He also worked as a miniature painter, both in oil and in pencil. He quickly matured into a confident and assured portrait painter and could undoubtedly have made a greater name for himself, but he chose to join Edward Heylyn (1695–after 1758) in the attempt to produce porcelain at the Bow Factory, London. In 1744 they took out a patent for a new method, using china clay brought to England from the North American colony of Georgia by ...

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Dictionary of National Biography, 63 vols and suppls (London, 1885–)
W. Strickland: A Dictionary of Irish Artists, 2 vols (Dublin, 1913/R 1968)
U. Thieme and F. Becker, eds: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 vols (Leipzig, 1907–50) [see also Meissner above]