READ, Samuel

1815 - 1883

Samuel Read

Born at Needham Market, Suffolk on 20 December 1815, son of Thomas Read, a shoemaker. Educated at Theobold’s endowed grammar school, Needham Market and displayed a strong taste for art when he entered the office of John Eddowes Sparrowe, the Ipswich town clerk, to train as a lawyer but about 1836 became an assistant to the town surveyor, William Mason in Tacket Street. A member of the Ipswich Society of Professional & Amateur Artists from 1832, where he was probably tutored by Henry Davy [q.v.]. In 1841 he abandoned a lawyer career and went to London to learn wood-engraving with the Whymper brothers (or Wimper), whose father was Ipswich brewer Nathaniel Wimper and was a pupil of William Collingwood Smith (1815-1887). Read first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1843, showing a drawing, 'The Vestibule of the Painted Hall, Greenwich', and continued to exhibit there annually until 1857. In 1844 he joined the 'Illustrated London News' for whom he produced a great quantity of excellent work, but his drawings of architectural, marine and landscape subjects won particular notice and was the first special artist ever sent abroad to furnish sketches for any illustrated paper. He exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association at the New Lecture Hall of the Mechanics' Institution in Ipswich in August 1850 two watercolours 'Chapel of the Holy Sacreament, St Jacques Church, Antwerp' and 'A Study in the Woods of Buckhurst, Sussex'. Read was elected an associate of the Society of Painters in Water Colours (the Old Watercolour Society) in 1857, and a member in 1880, and contributed to every exhibition from 1857 onward, showing 210 paintings in all. Read married at Inverness, Scotland on 26 June 1860, Isabella (1832-1887), daughter of Robert Carruthers (1799-1878), proprietor and editor of the 'Inverness Courier'; and had a son, Herbert, and a daughter, Alice. Read exhibited at the first exhibition of the Ipswich Fine Art Club in 1875 and in 1881 exhibited from the home of his son Herbert at Park Side, Bromley, Kent three watercolours ‘North Entrance to Roslin Chapel’, 'Cape Wrath' and 'Interior of Bruges Cathedral' in 1882 'The Old Mill on the Marsh', 'Coro, Cathedral of Toledo' and 'Genoa' and in 1883 'The Old Man of Wick', 'Wolf's Ghoe, John O'Groat's' and 'Bruges Cathedral' and a monochrome 'Bits about Lowestoft', all from the same address. He died at Fort Cottage, Sidmouth, Devon, on Sunday 6 May 1883 following a second stroke from that in the previous year. Read, his wife and two children were all buried in the same grave in Sidmouth churchyard. His studio sale was held at Christie's on 29 February 1884 and his watercolour 'Felixstowe Old Church' was exhibited in the 1974 centenary of the Ipswich Art Club.




Works by This Painter