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Danby initially developed his imaginative style while he was the central figure in a group of artists who have come to be known as the Bristol School. His period of greatest success was in London in the s. Born in the south of Ireland, he was one of a set of twins; his father, James Danby, farmed a small property he owned near Wexford , but his death, in , caused the family to move to Dublin , while Francis was still a schoolboy.
He began to practice drawing at the Royal Dublin Society 's schools; and under an erratic young artist named James Arthur O'Connor he began painting landscapes. Danby also made acquaintance with George Petrie. At Bristol they made a pause, and Danby, finding he could get trifling sums for water-color drawings, remained there working diligently and sending to the London exhibitions pictures of importance.
There his large oil paintings quickly attracted attention. The group had initially formed around Edward Bird ,  and Danby would eventually succeed Bird as its central figure. The Bristol artists, particularly the amateur Francis Gold, were also important in influencing Danby towards a more imaginative and poetical style. Danby's atmospheric work An Enchanted Island , successfully exhibited in at the British Institution and then back in Bristol at the Bristol Institution , was in turn particularly influential on other Bristol School artists.
He left Bristol for London, and in exhibited his Opening of the Sixth Seal at the British Institution , receiving from that body a prize of guineas ; and this picture was followed by two others on the theme of the Apocalypse. Danby painted "vast illusionist canvases" comparable to those of John Martin — of "grand, gloomy and fantastic subjects which chimed exactly with the Byronic taste of the s.
Danby was sculpted by Christopher Moore in In Danby's wife deserted him, running off with the painter Paul Falconer Poole. For a decade he lived on the Lake of Geneva in Switzerland, becoming a Bohemian with boat-building fancies, painting only now and then. He returned to England in , when his sons, James and Thomas, both artists, were growing up.
Other pictures by him were The Golden Age c. Some of Danby's later paintings, like The Woodnymph's Hymn to the Rising Sun , tended toward a calmer, more restrained, more cheerful manner than those in his earlier style; but he returned to his early mode for The Shipwreck He lived his final years at Exmouth in Devon, where he died in Along with John Martin and J. Turner , Danby is considered among the leading British artists of the Romantic period. Both of Danby's sons were landscape painters.
In , the latter was nominated as an Associate of the Royal Academy, but missed election by one vote. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Francis Danby The Shipwreck , oil on canvas, Varieties of Poetic Landscape.
Nineteenth Century British Painting. Giles de la Mere. The Bristol School of Artists: Francis Danby and Painting in Bristol — exhibition catalogue. City Art Gallery, Bristol. From Bristol to the Sea: Artists, the Avon Gorge and Bristol Harbour. Edward Bird exhibition catalogue. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.