17 January 2013

Artist Profile: Samuel Lines

Samuel Lines Senior. By William Thomas Roden, 1863.

This short artist's profile is designed to give an insight into Samuel Lines (1778-1863), a topographical painter based in Birmingham whose work has been used on this blog. More will be added as information comes to light. He produced a wide body of work for over 50 years and was one of the most prominent artists in Birmingham in the first half of the nineteenth century. Three sons were also artists, Samuel Rostill, Edward Ashcroft and Frederick Thomas, to varying degrees.

Samuel Lines Senior was born in Allesley in Warwickshire and came to Birmingham in 1794 as an apprentice to a Mr. Keeling. He worked as a clock dial enameller and decorator, but also produced work for Henry Clay who ran a large manufactory on Newhall Street. Lines himself set up a drawing school on Newhall Street in the early part of the nineteenth century, which was a novelty for Birmingham, and the school prospered. He was soon able to build a house for himself and his family, on Temple Row, where he continued to teach. In 1809 he embarked on a project with three other local artists, Moses Haughton, Joseph Barber (whom Lines had studied under) and Charles Barber, to set up a life drawing school on Peck Lane, just off New Street. In 1814 the school, doing well, moved to larger rooms in Union Passage, and the same year they housed an exhibition which exhibited works from artists within a 30 mile radius of Birmingham. By 1821 the group had again outgrown their premises and consulted with wealthy patrons and local industrialists, the product of which was the formation of the Society of Arts which took up residence in the old Panorama building on New Street. This building was rebuilt in 1828. Lines took classes at the society and managed many of the exhibitions. In 1842 there was some disagreement within the society, which split into two, with the new group moving to rooms on Temple Row, called the Aetheneum.

Samuel Lines painted by Frederick Thomas Lines.
Year unknown. May be of Samuel Rostill Lines. 

Samuel Lines's Paintings and Drawings of Birmingham
with links to those that are included on this blog
Unknown date: Drawing, Bull Ring and Shambles
Unknown date: Drawing, The Birthplace of David Cox
Unknown date: Old Wagon Warehouse, Bennett's Hill
Unknown date: Dr. Freer's House in Cannon Street
Unknown date: Wheatsheaf and Shops, New Street
1800: Bradford Street and the Moat
1820: Interior of the Old Room at the Free School
c.1820: Drawing, The Top of Ann Street Towards St. Philip's
1821: Painting, Birmingham from the Dome of St. Philip's
1821: Drawing, View from Number 3 Temple Row West

1824: Post Office, New Street
1830: Bell Street
c. 1848: Painting, Birmingham Town Hall & Queen's College
1857: Painting, The Opening of Calthorpe Park (below, top)
1857: Painting, The Duke of Cambridge Leaving the Town Hall (below, bottom)

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