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Born in 1804, Richard was one of three brothers (all of whom died unmarried) and four sisters born to James Denew, an auctioneer of Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, and his wife Louisa Sarah Bergman.
Although he specialised in historical and topographical subjects in both oils and watercolours, particularly in and around Rome and Venice which he visited in the late 1820s, he also produced a number of racehorse portraits such as "Stockwell" and "Lottery" with jockeys up. His portrait of Derby winner "Eleanor" was probably commissioned retrospectively of the race, possibly towards the end of the horse's life.
Richard Denew exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Artists, the New Watercolour Society (later the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours) and the Liverpool Academy, and would appear to have been a friend of Charles Couzens, who obtained use of James Denew’s roomy premises for some of his monumental works.
In his later years, Richard Denew lived with his married sister, Jane Bros, and her family at Spring Field House in Hackney, at which place he died in 1876.
Information courtesy of Peter FitzGibbon, decendent of the artist.