James Lonsdale was a confident and prolific portraitist, who came to London in 1799 and initially studied under George Romney and then at the Royal Academy schools. He soon established a hugely successful practice in Romney’s old studio in Berners Street, London. In 1806 he presented to his home town Lancaster his “Admiral Lord Nelson”, for which he received the freedom of the city. Between 1802 and 1838 he exhibited 138 paintings at the Royal Academy and a further 87 with the Society of British Artists which he had helped to found. Aristocrats and Royalty regularly sat for him where his bold, accurate portrayal of faces with `little attempt at flattery’ may explain why his clientele was `chiefly confined to male sitters’!
Examples of his work can be found in public collections in Britain including the Royal Collection and the National Portrait Gallery, London.