John was born at Mithian, near St Agnes, Cornwall (1761). He was a child prodigy, was discovered by the political satirist John Wolcot (Peter Pindar). Walcot launched Opie's career in London as an untutored genius (1780s). Walcot called him the ‘The Cornish Wonder’. It is remarable the quality of his work without any professional training. Opie paintied strongly modelled portraits and rustic albeit fancy pictures. His work is notable for Rembrandtesque lighting. Almost all of his worls are bust portraits, but we notice one family portrait, the Brodie family about 1805. It is a rare Opie work that was not a bust portrait. Opie's style emphasizing dramatic lighting was seen as bold and new, reflecting his working-class origins. He painted severa boys including sme genre work.
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