CHAMBERLIN, Mason the Elder
(b. 1727, London, d. 1787, Dorset)

Biography

English painter. He began work as a clerk in a counting-house in the City of London. He studied art under Francis Hayman and began painting portraits after his style, such as a Lady and a Gentleman (1761; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven) and a Naval Officer and his Son (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich). Although Chamberlin lived in Spitalfields, outside the circle of West End artists, he secured a reasonable amount of patronage from the middle class and one commission from the royal family, Prince Edward and Princess Augusta (untraced). He also painted portraits of scientific and medical men such as Benjamin Franklin (private collection), Dr Chandler (Royal Society, London) and William Hunter (c. 1781; Royal Academy, London). He exhibited portraits and history paintings at the Society of Artists (1760-68), from which he received a premium for a history painting in 1764. He also exhibited at the Free Society in 1764 and was a founder-member of the Royal Academy, exhibiting there between 1769 and 1786.

Chamberlin died in London in 1787. His son, Mason Chamberlin the Younger (active 1786-1826), was a landscape artist who worked peripatetically in the Midlands and Southern counties.