PARS, William
(b. 1742, London, d. 1782, Roma)


English painter. He first established himself in London as a portrait painter, exhibiting at the Society of Artists in 1760 and at the Free Society of Artists from 1761. In 1764 he won the third premium of the Royal Society of Arts for his history painting depicting Caractacus before the Emperor Claudius (untraced). In the same year he was selected by the Dilettanti Society to accompany Richard Chandler and Nicholas Revett on an archaeological expedition to Asia Minor and Greece (1764-66). His views of Classical monuments in Asia Minor were engraved and published in Ionian Antiquities (1769), while those he made in Greece, which included pioneering drawings of the Parthenon sculptures, were used in the second volume of James Stuart's Antiquities of Athens (1777). In 1769 seven of the crisp, coolly lit watercolour originals (London, British Museum) with their lively figures (probably influenced by Stuart's own gouache drawings) were exhibited at the Royal Academy; Pars was elected Associate of the Royal Academy the following year.