Thomas Sword Good

Last updated
Self-portrait Thomas Sword Good, by Thomas Sword Good.jpg
A Man Reading, 1827. A Man Reading by Thomas Sword Good.jpg
A Man Reading, 1827.

Thomas Sword Good (1789–1872) was a British painter, known for genre works.



Good was born at Berwick-upon-Tweed, 4 December 1789, and spent most of his life there. He was brought up as a house-painter, but in course of time began to execute portrait. From this he passed to genre painting, and between 1820 and 1834 exhibited at the principal London exhibitions. He stopped painting in the mid-1830s.

Berwick-upon-Tweed town in the county of Northumberland, England

Berwick-upon-Tweed is a town in the county of Northumberland. It is the northernmost town in England, at the mouth of the River Tweed on the east coast, 2 12 miles (4 km) south of the Scottish border. Berwick is approximately 56 miles (90 km) east-south east of Edinburgh, 65 miles (105 km) north of Newcastle upon Tyne and 345 miles (555 km) north of London.

Genre painting paintings of scenes or events from everyday life

Genre painting, also called petit genre, depicts aspects of everyday life by portraying ordinary people engaged in common activities. One common definition of a genre scene is that it shows figures to whom no identity can be attached either individually or collectively—thus distinguishing petit genre from history paintings and portraits. A work would often be considered as a genre work even if it could be shown that the artist had used a known person—a member of his family, say—as a model. In this case it would depend on whether the work was likely to have been intended by the artist to be perceived as a portrait—sometimes a subjective question. The depictions can be realistic, imagined, or romanticized by the artist. Because of their familiar and frequently sentimental subject matter, genre paintings have often proven popular with the bourgeoisie, or middle class.

He died in his house at 20 Quay Walls of his native town, 15 April 1872. Little is known of his life, but he visited London and David Wilkie, to whose school of painting his works belong.

David Wilkie (artist) Scottish painter

Sir David Wilkie was a British painter, especially known for his genre scenes. He painted successfully in a wide variety of genres, including historical scenes, portraits, including formal royal ones, and scenes from his travels to Europe and the Middle East. His main base was in London, but he died and was buried at sea, off Gibraltar, returning from his first trip to the Middle East. He was sometimes known as the "people's painter".


To the Royal Academy he sent in 1820 'A Scotch Shepherd;' 'in 1821 'Music' and 'A Man with a Hare;' in 1822 (the year in which Wilkie's 'Chelsea Pensioners' was exhibited) 'Two Old Men (still living) who fought at the Battle of Minden,' later in the possession of Frederick Locker-Lampson. To the same year belongs 'An Old Northumbrian Piper.' In 1823 he exhibited 'Practice' (probably the barber's apprentice shaving a sheep's head, engraved in mezzotint by W. Morrison); 1824, 'Rummaging an Old Wardrobe;' 1825, 'Girl and Boy' and 'Smugglers Resting;' 1826, 'A Study of Figures;' 1827, 'Fishermen;' 1828, 'Interior, with Figures;' 1829, 'Coast Scene, with Fishermen' and 'Idlers;' 1830, 'The Truant' and 'Merry Cottagers;' 1831, 'Medicine:' 1832, 'Coast Scene, with a Fisherman' (acquired by the National Gallery); and 1833, 'The Industrious Mother.' Besides these, he sent forty-three pictures to the British Institution and two to the Suffolk Street Gallery, making a total of sixty-four works up to 1834.

Frederick Locker-Lampson British poet

Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821–1895) was an English man of letters, bibliophile and poet.

National Gallery Art museum in London

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

British Institution art society

The British Institution was a private 19th-century society in London formed to exhibit the works of living and dead artists; it was also known as the Pall Mall Picture Galleries or the British Gallery. Unlike the Royal Academy it admitted only connoisseurs, dominated by the nobility, rather than practicing artists to its membership, which along with its conservative taste led to tensions with the British artists it was intended to encourage and support. In its gallery in Pall Mall the Institution held the world's first regular temporary exhibitions of Old Master paintings, which alternated with sale exhibitions of the work of living artists; both quickly established themselves as popular parts of the London social and artistic calendar. From 1807 prizes were given to artists and surplus funds were used to buy paintings for the nation.

Two works ('No News' and 'Study of a Boy') were bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1874 by the painter's widow, Mary Evans Good, to whom he had been married in 1839. There are also several examples of Good's art in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, and there was a portrait of the artist's friend Thomas Bewick in the Museum of the Newcastle Natural History Society. Good's works were collected by J. W. Barnes of Durham: oils, water-colours, drawings, and etchings, including a self-portrait of the artist by himself.

Fitzwilliam Museum University Museum of fine art and antiquities in Cambridge, England

The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge. It is located on Trumpington Street opposite Fitzwilliam Street in central Cambridge. Founded in 1816, the Fitzwilliam Museum includes one of the best collections of antiquities and modern art in western Europe. With over half a million objects and artworks in its collections, the displays in the Museum explore world history and art from antiquity to the present. The treasures of the museum include artworks by Monet, Picasso, Rubens, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Cézanne, Van Dyck, and Canaletto, as well as a winged bas-relief from Nimrud. Admission to the public is always free.

Thomas Bewick English engraver and natural history author

Thomas Bewick was a British engraver and natural history author. Early in his career he took on all kinds of work such as engraving cutlery, making the wood blocks for advertisements, and illustrating children's books. He gradually turned to illustrating, writing and publishing his own books, gaining an adult audience for the fine illustrations in A History of Quadrupeds.

Related Research Articles

Thomas Phillips English portrait and subject painter

Thomas Phillips RA was a leading English portrait and subject painter. He painted many of the great men of the day including scientists, artists, writers, poets and explorers.

Martin Archer Shee Irish artist

Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA was an Irish portrait painter and president of the Royal Academy.

William Powell Frith English painter

William Powell Frith was an English painter specialising in genre subjects and panoramic narrative works of life in the Victorian era. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1853, presenting The Sleeping Model as his Diploma work. He has been described as the "greatest British painter of the social scene since Hogarth".

Edwin Landseer English painter

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was an English painter and sculptor, well known for his paintings of animals – particularly horses, dogs, and stags. However, his best known works are the lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square.

George Hayter British artist

Sir George Hayter was a notable English painter, specialising in portraits and large works involving in some cases several hundred individual portraits. Queen Victoria appreciated his merits and appointed Hayter her Principal Painter in Ordinary and also awarded him a Knighthood 1841.

William Beechey British artist

Sir William Beechey was a leading English portraitist of the golden age of British painting.

William Hilton British artist, 1786-1839

William Hilton, was a British portrait and history painter.

Martinus Rørbye Danish artist

Martinus Christian Wesseltoft Rørbye was a Danish painter, known both for genre works and landscapes. He was a central figure of the Golden Age of Danish painting during the first half of the 19th century.

William Collins (painter) English landscape and genre painter

William Collins was an English landscape and genre painter. His sentimental paintings of poor people enjoying nature became a posthumous high fashion, notably in the 1870s when his market price rose higher than Constable and stayed so until 1894. Turner, his model, far exceeded him in value. (

John Partridge (artist) British artist and portrait painter

John Partridge was a British artist and portrait painter. Named 'portrait painter-extraordinary' to Queen Victoria, his pictures depict many of the notable figures of his time.

Richard Rothwell Irish portrait and genre painter

Richard Rothwell was a nineteenth-century Irish portrait and genre painter.

Hardings Gallery (Boston)

Harding's Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, exhibited works by European and American artists in the 1830s-1840s. The building on School Street also housed a newspaper press; the Mercantile Library Association; the Boston Artists' Association; and artists' studios. The building's name derived from painter Chester Harding, who kept his studio there.

Thomas Clater (1789–1867) was a painter.

Henry Wyatt (artist) English painter

Henry Wyatt, was an English portrait, subject and genre painter.

Frederick Richard Say English portrait painter

Frederick Richard Say was a notable society portrait painter in London between about 1830 and 1860, undertaking commissions for portraits of many famous and important figures such as Earl Grey, Sir Robert Peel, the Duke of Wellington and the Royal family. However, after his death he seems to have been largely forgotten.

Mary Martha Pearson was an English portrait painter.

Scottish art in the nineteenth century

Scottish art in the nineteenth century is the body of visual art made in Scotland, by Scots, or about scottish subjects. This period saw the increasing professionalisation and organisation of art in Scotland. Major institutions founded in this period included the Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland, the Royal Scottish Academy of Art, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Glasgow Institute. Art education in Edinburgh focused on the Trustees Drawing Academy of Edinburgh. Glasgow School of Art was founded in 1845 and Grays School of Art in Aberdeen in 1885.

Alexander Carse Scottish genre painter

Alexander Carse was a Scottish painter known for his scenes of Scottish life. His works include a large canvas of George IV's visit to Leith and three early paintings of football matches.

Howard Helmick was an American painter, etcher, designer and illustrator, who was well known for his oil on canvas paintings. He specialized in figure painting and engravings. He was best known for his Irish genre studies, and paintings of Irish households.


    Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Good, Thomas Sword". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

    The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

    <i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> Multi-volume reference work

    The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.