Wilson Online Reference
William Birch, 1755-1834
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
William Birch was a printmaker and enamel painter who began his career when his wealthy cousin, William Russell of Birmingham, apprenticed him to the London jeweller and goldsmith Thomas Jeffreys. Six years later he left to study the art of enamel painting with Henry Spicer. Specialising in miniature copies after many of the leading artists of the day, including Sir Joshua Reynolds, Birch made his London début at the Society of Artists of Great Britain exhibition of 1775 with two enamels of classical subjects. Despite having won the Society's awards in both 1784 and 1785 for technical improvements in enamel painting, he evidently preferred to exhibit at the Royal Academy, where between 1781 and 1794 he sent 41 pieces to the annual exhibitions. In 1789, he engraved E53 A View in Kew Gardens after Wilson, which was included in his publication Délices de la Grande Bretagne (1791).
Significant institutions
Society of Artists of Great Britain; Royal Academy