John Bagnold Burgess
John Bagnold Burgess (21 Oct 1829 – 2 Nov 1897) was an English
artist known for his of paintings of historical and genre scenes,
principally in Spain.
Burgess was born in Chelsea on the 21st of October 1829. He
was the son of Henry W. Burgess, landscape painter to William IV,
and part of a family of several generations of distinguished artists
(see "Family" below). He was educated at "Brompton Grammar School"
and, after the death of his father when he was 10 years old,
received art training from William Charles Ross, the miniature
painter - who had been friend of his father. In 1848 he went to
James Mathews Leigh's art school in Soho. In 1850 he exhibited a
picture at the Royal Academy and in 1849 entered the Academy
schools, winning the first-class medal for life drawing. Each year
from 1852 until his death, Burgess was an annual contributor to the
Burgess started his career by painting portraits and genre works,
before travelling to Spain in 1858, accompanied by his friend and
fellow artist Edwin Long - who would become his travelling companion
on future painting trips to the country. For the next some thirty
years, Burgess was an annual visitor to Spain, often spending days
with Spanish peasants, living their life and sharing their food. He
also went to Morocco at least once. In 1860, he married Sophia,
daughter of Robert Turner of Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Burgess's first great success was
his "Bravo Toro" in 1865. Some of his other important works are
"Stolen by Gypsies" (1868), "Kissing Relics in Spain" (1869), "The
Barber's Prodigy" (1875), and "Licensing Beggars in Spain" (1877).
In June 1877, Burgess was elected an associate of the Royal Academy.
Other paintings are "The Letter-Writer" (1882), "The Scramble at the
Wedding" (1884), and "Freedom of the Press" (1890), which was Burgess's diploma work
upon being elected a full member of the Royal Academy in 1889. From
1850-1897, Burgess exhibited seventy-three pictures at the Royal
Academy, fifteen at the British Institution, and thirty or forty at
He died on the 12th November 1897 at his home at 60 Finchley
Road, London, from the congenital heart disease which had troubled
him all his life, and was buried in the Paddington Cemetery at