(b Kensington Gravel Pits, Middlesex [now in London], 20 Feb. 1779; d London, 25 Nov. 1844). English painter. He studied with the portraitist John Hoppner, but he soon changed course and went on to have a highly successful career as a landscape painter, patronized by numerous distinguished clients who preferred his work to that of his more innovative contemporaries Constable and Turner. His style, influenced by Claude and by 17th-century Dutch painters, was similar to that of Turner (who was a friend), but his work is rather pedestrian in comparison: Ruskin commented that he ‘painted everything tolerably, nothing excellently’.
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)