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Opie, John RA

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Opie was born in St Agnes, Cornwall, son of the village carpenter. He was befriended by Dr John Wolcot (1738-1819), the ‘Peter Pindar’ who wrote the satiric “Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians”. Wolcot brought Opie to London in 1781 declaring him to be ‘the Cornish Wonder.’ He quickly achieved a name for himself and was never short of portrait commissions. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1782 until the year of his death and was elected a full member in 1788 at the age of 27. Waterhouse wrote that ‘he lacked the graces, but was one of the ablest English painters of his time.’
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