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George Garrard

1760 – 1826

George Garrard ARA, born in London, trained under the animal painter Sawrey Gilpin and enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools at the end of 1778. He showed so much early promise that in 1784 Sir Joshua Reynolds bought one of his paintings, but with patrons including the eighth duke of Hamilton, the brewer Samuel Whitbread and the fifth duke of Bedford, he became so busy, and his output so various, that other artists came to regard him as a ‘Jack of all trades’. An associate of the Royal Academy from 1800, he exhibited 215 works there. Garrard’s book Descriptions of the Different Varieties of Oxen, Common in the British Isles, was published in 1800, and revised and enlarged over subsequent editions. However, after 1804 he concentrated on sculpture and modelling of animals, usually plaster but sometimes cast in bronze. Ambitious and competitive, he was instrumental in the passing of a bill to secure copyright on sculpted and cast works of art, called the Models and Busts Act. A collection of Garrard’s plaster models of sheep, cattle and pigs is in the British Museum (Natural History).

Updated 2018