Joseph Goupy (Biographical details)

Joseph Goupy (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; French; British; Male; 1689 - 1769)

Also known as

Goupy, Joseph; Goupy, Jose


Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist, miniaturist, copyist of Italian Old Masters and etcher born in London in 1689; parents unknown but nephew and later pupil of Louis Goupy; probably a Roman Catholic; travelled in Italy and Malta; settled in London 1711 becoming one of the original subscribers to Kneller's drawing academy in Great Queen Street; developed a fashionable clientele for his reduced copies in body colour (gouache) of old master paintings for which he was paid as much as 50 guineas; between 1714-17 he was commissioned by Baron Kielmansegg for a fee of 220 guineas to copy the Vatican tapestry cartoons of Raphael then at Hampton Court; Kielmansegg also employed Goupy to paint pictures in snuff-boxes for George I; from 1719 Goupy worked with the portrait painters James Thornhill and Michael Dahl; in 1726 he was paid £170 for restoring four of the subjects in the other great Renaissance masterpiece of the Royal Collection: Mantegna's 'Triumph of Caesar'; worked as theatre scene painter in 1720s, including sketch of John James Heidegger, manager of King's Theatre, which appeared in background of 'The Tuneful Scarecrow'. 'The Harmonious Boar', Goupy's later caricature of Handel as a gigantic pig playing the organ, reflects operatic rivalries in the 1730s and 1740s from 1724 Goupy published a number of prints of landscapes and classical subjects, including several after Salvator Rosa; campaigned with Hogarth for copyright for designers of prints leading to the act of 1735; .in 1736 appointed Cabinet Painter to the Prince of Wales; taught Frederick, Prince of Wales and Dorothy Boyle, countess of Burlington; also painted fans, and made at least two trips to France (in 1748 and 1750) to acquire paintings for the prince; made drawings for garden building and furniture for Kew; exhibited two watercolours at the Society of Artists of Great Britain of which he was elected a Fellow; said to have been given a pension of a guinea a week by George III shortly before his death in 1770.


Sheila O'Connell, 'Goupy, Joseph (1689-1769)', ODNB, Oxford, 2004; online edn, May 2008
C.R.Grundy in Walpole Society IX 1920/1, pp.77-88, 'Documents relating to an action brought against JG'
E. Croft-Murray, 'Catalogue of British drawings in the British Museum' vol. 2, BM (includes biography of Joseph Goupy);
see unpublished notes by E. Croft-Murray in Dept. Prints & Drawings, BM.