Portrait of Maria Walpole, Countess Waldegrave, Later H.R.H. Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1736-1807)
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Francis Cotes, R.A. ( London 1726 - Richmond 1770 )
Francis Cotes was born in London, the eldest son of Robert Cotes, an apothecary. He first made his mark as a pastellist in 1748. He trained with the portrait painter George Knapton (1698–1778) before setting up his own studio in his father's business premises in Cork Street, London. Cotes used brighter colours than his master and his work displayed the influence of Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757) and Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789). His preferred media were pencil and pastels, in the making of which the knowledge of chemistry he gained in his father’s shop was of some assistance. During the 1760s however, Cotes turned his attention to oil painting, and adopted Reynold’s (1723-1792) portrait style, in contrast to Knapton’s more conservative work. He became Reynold’s most serious competitor before the arrival of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) in London, after Cotes’ premature death.