George Dawe trained with his father as an engraver and turned out to be proficient from an early age. He later became interested in painting and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Arts. He was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1809 and became an Academician in 1814.
He collected old masters and studied modern and classical dialects, philosophy and literature. George Dawe also studied anatomy as part of his pursuit of a better understanding of the human form and undertook human dissections in his own home as well as attending operations to improve his insight into the human body.
His paintings of classical subjects won much acclaim and were the making of his early reputation but he was more keen on monetary gains and looked for portraiture commissions which were lucrative and which brought him into contact with high society.
He enjoyed the patronage of the Duke and Duchess of Kent and also that of Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold. In 1819 he traveled with the Duke of Kent through Europe. On this tour, his painting of portraits of military staff and diplomats brought him to the attention of Alexander I who commissioned him to paint the portraits of senior Russian military staff who had fought Napoleon. George Dawe went to live in St Petersburg and, from 1822 to 1828, painted over 300 portraits for the military collection at the Winter Palace.
George Dawe became a celebrity throughout Europe and mixed with the Russian intellectual elite. In 1828 he was appointed First Portrait Painter of the Imperial Court. George Dawe would later become one of the most successful military artists of his generation and an international celebrity of considerable fame and wealth.
Art Movement: Neoclassicism.
Artists Influencing George Dawe: Alexander Polyakov, Wilhelm August Golicke.
He Traveled To Russia, France, Germany, Italy.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.