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An Irish portrait and historical painter, Daniel MacLise was born in Cork, where he studied at the local Academy. He came to London in 1827 and entered Royal Academy Schools the following year. At first, MacLise made his living painting portraits, but he soon after turned to historical genre. He exhibited at the Royal Academy 1829-70, British Institution and Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street. Elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1835, he then became a full Academian in 1840.

MacLise’s historical scenes were usually based on popular literary sources. He also painted some ambitious historical scenes. In the House of Lords he painted two frescoes, Spirit of Justice and Spirit of Chivalry, and later his two best known historical scenes, The Death of Nelson and The Meeting of Wellington and Blucher. He also illustrated several books. Won out by these immense commissions, which he completed in 1864, MacLise produced very little in the later years of his life.

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