John Comerford was a painter from Kilkenny who specialised in miniature paintings.
He was famous and renowned for his miniature portraits. He was born in Kilkenny and gained his knowledge of art from copying the pictures in the collection of the Marquis of Ormonde at Kilkenny Castle. He went early in life to Dublin, and entered as a student in the art schools of the Dublin Society.
He exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1804 and 1809. He was very successful and gained a high reputation as a miniature-painter in Dublin, and had a large and lucrative practice in his art. He particularly excelled in his male portraits, which were carefully finished, well expressed, and quiet in colour.
Some examples of his work were exhibited at the Special Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures in 1865, including portraits of Lady Sarah Lennox, Mr. Burgoyne, and Mr. William Fletcher, the latter in college dress. There is a miniature by him of an English military officer in the South Kensington Museum.
In 1819, the Dublin Society of Artists, which had been for some years torn by internal dissensions, applied for a charter of incorporation. This was actively opposed, and Comerford was selected by the opposers, as being a man of good repute and much respected, to write to Sir Robert Peel, then chief secretary for Ireland, explaining the reason for opposition. The controversy ended in the complete defeat of Comerford and his friends, and the society obtained their charter in 1821.
Comerford's painting took him around the world, and face to face with many notable figures such as 'The Liberator', Daniel O'Connell.
He died in Dublin of apoplexy on the 25th of January 1832.