William Louis Beaufort
19th Century Irish Landscape Artist: Biography and Paintings.

The Augustinian Abbey, Adare

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Rev. William Louis Beaufort (1771-1849)

A talented watercolourist, Beaufort's landscapes are rare but lesser examples of Irish landscape art from the early 19th century.


The Irish landscape artist and outdoor scene painter William Louis Beaufort was born in County Meath in 1771. His father was the cartographer, diarist and Rector of Navan, the Venerable Daniel Augustus Beaufort. An enthusiastic sketcher, details of his art education are rather vague (and he has been mistaken for the amateur antiquarian draftsman William Beauford (1735-1819) who lived in Dublin), but we know he studied under a Nicholas Pocock and a Miss Simmonds in Bristol and later in Dublin under a James George O'Brien, so he was not a wholly self-taught painter.

In any event, he became an accomplished if amateur artist excelling in large scale watercolour painting, and was proficient in drawing, both in pencil and pen and ink. His compositions also suggest a keen interest in architecture, as buildings sometimes dominate his compositions.

Unfortunately, examples of Beaufort's landscape painting are extremely rare. Three of his works - "A View of Mallow" and the pair "The Augustinian Abbey, Adare" and "Slane Abbey, County Meath" were auctioned at Christie's in London, in 2004, for £1,434 and £5,377 respectively.

Other known paintings by William Louis Beaufort include: Bridge at Tollymore, Co. Down, Falls at Doonas at Castleconnell, Turret in Dormas House and Distant View of Avondale. The latter has a marked blue tone and focuses on the landscape, with the buildings appearing in the distance. [Source: Crookshank & Glin, Watercolours of Ireland] (Built in 1777, Avondale House was designed by James Wyatt and in 1846 became the birthplace of Charles Stewart Parnell.)

Beaufort became the Canon of Rathcooney, County Cork, and was also the Rector at Glanmire, County Cork, where he died in 1849 aged 78.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For biographies of other painters, see: 18th Century Irish Artists and 19th Century Irish Artists.
• For details of other creative practitioners from Ireland, see: Irish Artists: Biographies.
• For more about early 19th century landscape artists like William Louis Beaufort, see: Irish Art Guide.
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