Home > Artists > Richard Dighton

Richard Dighton (1796-1880)

Richard Dighton (1796-1880)

Richard Dighton played a significant role in British portraiture of the nineteenth century, not only in continuing the tradition of his father, but also in effecting a transition between painting and photography, especially in the provincial centres of Cheltenham and Worcester.

Richard Dighton was born at 12 Charing Cross, London, on 19 June 1796, the youngest son of the artist, Robert Dighton, and Catherine Caroline Bertles. He probably served an apprenticeship in his father’s studio at Charing Cross and then, from 1810, at 4 Spring Gardens.

When his father died in 1814, his elder brothers were both in France with the army, so Dighton took on the family business, and adopted his father’s style. His earliest caricature prints are of academics of Oxford, Cambridge and Eton. However, he soon specialised in London personalities, including actors.

Marrying his first wife, Mary, in about 1818, Dighton lived in Pimlico and then in Chelsea in the 1820s, and during that decade fathered his three eldest children: Richard (1823-1891), who would also become an artist, Mary (born 1826) and Martha (born 1828).

In 1824, Dighton sold his stock of plates to Thomas McLean of 16 Haymarket, who reissued some of them with his own imprint. He then concentrated on watercolour portraits, gradually purging his style of the element of caricature.

In 1828, the Dightons left London for Cheltenham, and settled at 85 Winchombe Street.

Showing 1 result


Specialist Area