Maclise, of Scottish and Irish descent, was born in Cork, Ireland. He studied
there before coming to London to study at the Royal Academy Schools.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1829 and became ARA in 1835, RA in 1840, and was offered the
Presidency of the Academy in 1866, which he refused. Maclise was of academic style, a previous generation that led up to
and overlapped for a time the Pre-Raphaelites. His compositions tended to be set-pieces, strong works composed
of grouped figures telling a story.
Maclise was both a painter and illustrator. Some of his portraits may be seen in the National Portrait Gallery.
in the Arthurian Artists' Section