OPIE, JOON, A. was b. at the village of St. Agnes, 7 m. from Truro, Cornwall, in May, 1761, His father, a master carpenter, wished him to follow the same trade, but his bias for art was strong; and his attempts at portrait-painting having attracted the notice of Dr. Wolcot, afterward celebrated as Peter Pinata, he had the advantage of his advice in the practice of the art, and his exertions in procuring him employment. And at length. in 1780, he was taken to London by Dr. Wolcot; and immediately came to be acknowledged by the fashionable world as the "Cornish Wonder." This tide of good fortune soon ebbed, but not before Opie had realized a moderate competency. The loss of popular favor, however, only served to bring out more strongly those points in Opie's character on which his reputation mainly rests, viz., manly independence and strong love of art. He stooped to no device to retain fashionable patronage, but calmly and unremittingly entered on that department of painting which, according to the notions of his tune, was the only style of high art, viz., historical or scriptural subjects, executed on a large scale. His pencil was employed by in his well-meant and magnificent scheme to elevate British art; he also painted a number of works in the illustration of Bowyer's "English History," Macklin's "Poets," and "Biblical Gallery," and other simitar undertakings. His .pictures of the "Murder of James I. of Scotland," the Slaughter of fizzio," " Jeplithah's Vow," "Presentation in the Temple," " Art lair and Hubert." and Juliet in the Garden," are his most noted works. Opie was
elected an associate of the royal academy in 178G, and academician in the following year. He devoted part of his time to various literary efforts tending to the illustration of art: these were chiefly the "Life of Reynolds" in Dr. Wolcot's edition of Pilking ton's Dictionary of Paintel•s; a letter in the _Vora Briton, recommending the formation of a national gallery, reprinted as Aa Inquiry into the Requisite Cultivation of the Rile Arts in Brit«in; lectures on art, delivered at the royal institution, which, though listened to with great attention by a select and fashionable audience, do not seem to have been satisfactory to himself, as he declined to continue them. When Fuson, 011 being appointed keeper, resigned the professorship of painting, Opie was appointed to that office; and the four lectures which he delivered—he died before completing the course—bear the stamp of practical experience and shrewd observation. Opie was twice married. He obtained a divorce from his first wife; but his second, well known as one of the most popular novelists of the day, appreciated his high character, whirl, she set forth, after his death, in a memoir published along with his lectures, Ile died somewhat suddenly to his house, St. Bernard street. Oxford street, April 9, 1807, and was buried in the crypt of St. Paul's, near the grave of Reynolds.