Joseph Severn (7 December 1793 – 3 August 1879) was an English portrait and subject painter and a personal friend of the English poet John Keats. He exhibited portraits, Italian genre, literary and biblical subjects, and a selection of his paintings can today be found in some of the most important museums in London, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Britain.BackgroundThe eldest son of a music teacher, Severn was born at Hoxton, near London, and apprenticed at the age of 14 to William Bond, an engraver. Severn was one of seven children; two of his brothers, Thomas (1801–1881) and Charles (1806–1894), became professional musicians, and Severn himself was an adroit pianist. During his early years he practised portraiture as a miniaturist.Early years in London 1815-1820In 1815, he was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in London and exhibited his first work in oil, Hermia and Helena, a subject from A Mi
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