(b Sunderland, 3 Dec. 1793; d London, 18 May 1867). English painter, best known for his marine subjects. From 1808 to 1816 he was a sailor, mainly in the merchant service, although he was in the Royal Navy for a time after being press-ganged. He began his artistic career as a theatrical scene painter and creator of dioramas, sometimes working in collaboration with his friend David Roberts, but from the 1830s he concentrated on easel paintings. With these he gained the reputation of being ‘England's van de Velde’, and apart from Turner he was indeed the best British marine painter of his period. His work is represented in numerous British collections, including the National Maritime Museum, London, and the art gallery of his native Sunderland.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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