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The Barraud brothers were grandsons of the well-known chronometer maker, who was of an old French family. Their father worked at Custom House and William also worked here for a short time after leaving school.
William was born in 1810 and, upon resigning from his job, he became a pupil of Abraham Cooper, then pursued a career as an animal painter. Henry, his brother, was born in 1812 and was a portrait and subject painter. Together they collaborated on paintings of horses and dogs; they were extremely successful and many of their works were engraved.
William Barraud exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1829 until his death in 1850 after a short illness. His brother Henry exhibited from 1833 to 1859 and lived to the age of 62.