English Painter, 1735-1811,Painter and politician, elder son of George Dance . He trained under Francis Hayman before travelling to Rome in 1754. As Nathaniel Dance he established himself as a portrait painter but was determined to succeed as a history painter. His picture the Death of Virginia (1759; untraced, but known from a sketch, London, Soane Mus.) is of documentary importance as the first dated Classical history painting by a British artist working in Rome. In 1762 Dance assisted Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, whose influence brightened his palette and introduced him to a grander clientele, including Edward Augustus, Duke of York (1739-67), who sat for both artists in 1764 (Dance's Edward Augustus, Duke of York, London, Buckingham Pal., Royal Col.). In the same year Dance painted a portrait of Angelica Kauffman (Burghley House, Cambs), with whom he was in love. He returned to London in 1765 and rapidly achieved fame as a portrait and history painter. His Timon of Athens (1767; London, Buckingham Pal., Royal Col.) was purchased by George III; but after the King appointed Benjamin West to be his history painter in 1772, Dance concentrated on portraits. He was among the 22 artists who successfully petitioned the King in 1768 to establish a Royal Academy, and he served for periods as a council member and visitor, until 1782. At the Academy's first exhibition (1769) Dance showed full-length portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte (Uppark, W. Sussex, NT); two years later he exhibited David Garrick as Richard III (Stratford-on-Avon, Town Hall). In the mid-1770s Dance became financially independent, and his output declined sharply, virtually ceasing after his marriage in 1783 to a wealthy widow. He resigned from the Academy in 1790 on his election as Member of Parliament for East Grinstead and subsequently only exhibited occasional landscapes as a 'gentleman'. In 1800 he was created a baronet and assumed the name of Dance-Holland; he died worth over
ID: 73052 Admiral Richard Edwards "Admiral Richard Edwards, d.1794," oil on canvas, painted by the British artist Nathaniel Dance. 1270 mm x 1016 mm. Courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.