Sir Robert Ker Porter, an English artist, brother of Jane and Anna Maria Porter, born in Durham about 1775, died in St. Petersburg, May 4, 1842. He entered the royal academy when he was about 15 years old, and after two years was commissioned to paint pictures of Moses and Aaron for Shoreditch church. His best productions were battle pieces. His " Storming of Seringapatam," which was exhibited in 1800, was 120 ft. long, and is said to have cost him only six weeks' labor. It was destroyed by fire. He also painted " The Siege of Acre," "Agincourt," "The Battle of Alexandria," and " The Death of Sir Ralph Aber-cromby." In 1804 he went to Russia, where he was appointed historical painter to the czar, and painted on the walls of the admiralty " Peter the Great planning the Port of Cron-stadt and St. Petersburg." Returning to England, he published "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden" (2 vols. 4to, 1808); accompanied Sir John Moore's expedition to the Peninsula in 1808; wrote anonymous "Letters from Portugal and Spain" (1809); and made a second visit to Russia, where in 1811 he married the daughter of Prince Shtcherbatoff. In 1813 he published "An Account of the Russian Campaign." From 1817 to 1820 he travelled in Asia, engaged in antiquarian studies, which are detailed in his "Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, ancient Babylonia," etc. (2 vols. 4to, 1821-'2). In 1826 he was appointed British consul at Caracas, where he painted three of his best pictures, " Christ at the Last Supper blessing the Cup," " Our Saviour blessing the Little Child," and an Ecce Homo. He went with his sister Jane to St. Petersburg, and died of apoplexy as he was about returning home.
He was knighted in 1813.