George Romney: (December 26, 1734 – November 15, 1802) was a noted English portrait painter. He was born on Boxing Day 1734 in Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire, and apprenticed to his father as a cabinet-maker. In 1755 he went to Kendal to learn painting from a Cumberland artist by the name of Christopher Steele, and within two years was becoming well-known as a portraitist. He fell ill during his apprenticeship and was nursed back to health by Mary Abbott, daughter of his landlady.
In 1762, by which time he was married with two children, he went to London, and saw early success with a painting, The Death of General Wolfe which won a prize from the Royal Society of Arts. Romney soon had a thriving portrait business in Long Acre.
Romney was invited to join the newly-formed Royal Academy but refused to resign from another artistic society, violating the Academy's exclusive membership rules.
In 1773 he travelled to Italy with fellow artist Ozias Humphrey to study art in Rome and Parma, returning to London in 1775 to resume business, this time in Cavendish Square (in a house formerly owned by noted portraitist Francis Cotes). In 1782 he met Emma Hamilton (then called Emma Hart) who became his muse. He painted over 60 portraits of her in various poses, sometimes playing the part of historical or mythological figures. He also painted many other contemporaries, including fellow artist Mary Moser. After an absence of almost forty years, he returned to his family in Kendal in the summer of 1799. He was greeted by his loyal, devoted and unquestioning wife.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery (Kendal, UK), the Ackland Art Museum (University of North Carolina), the Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (New York), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford), the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (New Brunswick), the Blanton Museum of Art (University of Texas, Austin), Brigham Young University Museum of Art (Utah), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery (Ireland), the Detroit Institute of Arts, Dulwich Picture Gallery (London), Falmouth Art Gallery (England), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Fitzwilliam Museum (University of Cambridge), the Fleming Museum (University of Vermont), the Frick Collection (New York City), the Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Harvard University Art Museums, the Hermitage Museum, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Huntington Library (California), the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre, Manchester City Art Gallery (UK), Musée des beaux-arts (Pau, France), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Texas), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia), the National Gallery of Canada, the National Maritime Museum (Greenwich, UK), the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, the National Museums Liverpool (UK), the National Portrait Gallery, London, the New Art Gallery (Walsall, England), the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena, California), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Tate Gallery and the Wallace Collection (London) are among the public collections holding works by George Romney.