William Lock the Younger (1767–1847)

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William Lock the Younger of Norbury (1767-1847) was a talented draughtsman working in the circle of Henry Fuseli in Rome towards the end of the 18th century. Sir Horace Walpole was a great admirer of his work and Fuseli described the young Lock’s drawings as ‘unrivalled by any man of this day...for invention, taste and spirit.’

Lock’s father was William Lock of Norbury (1732-1810), an important patron and collector of several major contemporary artists, including George Barret, Thomas Lawrence, Richard Wilson and Henry Fuseli. William Lock (elder) acquired a number of Richard Wilson’s drawings from when the pair travelled together from Venice to Rome, he commissioned George Barret and Bartolomeo Cipriani to decorate his estate at Norbury in Surrey, and Thomas Lawrence produced portraits of both Lock father and son (now in Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Yale Centre for British Art respectively).

Lock the Younger studied with William Gilpin, but it was his father’s patronage of Henry Fuseli that was to have the greatest influence on him. He became a pupil and close friend of Fuseli, and the influence of Fuseli’s style and subject matter is evident in Lock’s work. Fuseli was a frequent visitor at Norbury and he dedicated his lectures on painting to him. Despite this encouragement, Lock largely gave up artistic practice while still in his twenties.

William Lock the Younger's work can be seen in a number of public collections, including Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Yale Centre for British Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.