Richard Ansdell (1815 – 1885)
British painter of animals and genre scenes Richard Ansdell was born in Liverpool. He had a natural talent for art from an early age. After leaving school worked for a portrait painter in Chatham in Kent, and also spent time as a sign painter in the Netherlands.
He first exhibited at the Liverpool Academy in 1835, becoming a student there the following year. His animal and rural subjects proved to be popular and he soon attracted wealthy patrons. In 1850, Ansdell started collaborating on pictures with Thomas Creswick, who specialised in landscapes.
In 1855, Andsell was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition. During part of his career he kept a “summer house” at Lytham St Annes, in the borough of Fylde, where a district, Ansdell, is named after him. He is the only English artist to have been honoured in this way.
Ansdell died at “Collingwood Tower” at Farnborough in Hampshire on 20 April 1885.
Ansdell’s subject matter was compared to that of Edwin Landseer. His reputation was as a hardworking but occasionally over-proud artist. For instance, he received no royal commissions after refusing to paint Queen Victoria’s dogs unless they were brought to his studio.