James Shaw, Artist, 1736-1784

James Shaw was baptised on 6 Sep 1736 in All Saints, Sedgley and was the younger brother of Thomas Shaw, who later became Rev Thomas Shaw-Hellier in 1786. James Shaw studied and became an artist and died in London in about 1784.

James Shaw is listed in Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, first published in 1816. Here Michael Bryan (1757-1821) states that James Shaw was a native of Wolverhampton and had studied under the well known artist Edward Penny. It goes on to say “He painted portraits with some success and towards the latter end of his life resided in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, where he died about the year 1784”.

He is the reputed artist of a number of family portraits held at the Wodehouse, Wombourne most notably the one of his brother, Thomas.

He was an early product of the Royal Academy of Arts reputedly enrolling there in 1769 the year after its foundation. His works are listed in RA exhibitions in 1786 and 1787.

The attached self-portrait was exhibited in the Wolverhampton Art and Industrial Exhibition in 1902 by Col. Thomas Bradney Shaw-Hellier. This particular portrait, along with seven other attributed works, were put up for sale in 2023.

Sources and Notes

Last updated on 8 April 2024 by JJ Morgan