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Shearer West

English family of painters and illustrators . Richard Westall (b Hertford, 1765; d London, 4 Dec 1836) was apprenticed in 1799 to John Thompson, a heraldic engraver in London. The miniaturist John Alefounder (d 1795) advised Westall to take up painting, and in 1784 he exhibited a portrait drawing (untraced) at the Royal Academy. He became a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1785, an ARA in 1792 and an RA in 1794. He exhibited over 300 works at the Royal Academy and 70 at the British Institution, including such large watercolours as Cassandra Prophesying the Fall of Troy (exh. London, RA 1796; London, V&A), which are painted in violent and sometimes excessive colours. Others, such as The Rosebud (1791; New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A.), tend towards a Rococo prettiness. His principal expertise was book illustration. He was employed by John Boydell, Thomas Macklin and ...