William Bellers

A View of the Head of Ullswater toward Patterdale, painted after Nature by William Bellers. Photo credit UK Government Art Collection

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More about William Bellers

Painter and engraver William Bellers is thought to have enrolled at the University of Oxford in 1734 as ‘illuminator’ (painter) and ‘privilegiatus’ (licensed to work within the university). 

In the first half of the 18th Century, the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland were considered inhospitable and foreboding. William Bellers was one of the first professional artists to venture and paint views of the Lake District (in the manner of George Lambert). He also painted or etched views in Birmingham, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Sussex and along the English coast. He exhibited over 60 works at the Free Society of Artists (1761-73). 

The rights to his plates were purchased by Robert Sayer in c.1766 and then by John Boydell in c.1769. Eight views of the Cumberland and Westmoreland lakes were engraved after him by J. S. Müller, Chatelain, Charles Grignion the Elder, Canot, and James Mason, and published by Boydell in 1774; Bellers sold prints and drawings, by himself and the Old Masters, from his home in Poppins Court, off Fleet Street. Nothing is known of him after 1773.

There is another painting by William Bellers in the Virtual Art Gallery