Marcellus Laroon

(1679—1772) painter

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(b ?Chiswick, Middlesex [now in Greater London], 2 Apr. 1679; d Oxford, 1 June 1772).

English painter, the son of a Franco-Dutch painter of the same name (d1702) who moved to England as a young man and was one of Kneller's assistants. The younger Laroon was a colourful character who in his long and strenuous life was a musician, singer, soldier, and man of pleasure; he drew and painted ‘for diversitions’, to use the words of Vertue, and did not concentrate on art until he retired from the army in 1732. He painted portraits, conversation pieces, and genre scenes, usually fanciful in character. His nearly monochromatic, feathery style added a touch of French daintiness to the stolid English manner and he anticipated Gainsborough by his lightness of touch. After a long period of neglect, he was rediscovered in the 20th century.

Subjects: Art.

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