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John William Inchbold (29 August 1830 – 23 January 1888) was an English painter born in Leeds, Yorkshire and influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite style. He was the son of a Yorkshire newspaper owner, Thomas Inchbold.

Dictionary of National Biography Entry, Volume 28, page 426[1] INCHBOLD, JOHN WILLIAM (1830- 1888), painter, was born 29 April 1830 at Leeds, where Thomas Inchbold, his father, was proprietor and editor of the 'Leeds Intelligencer’. Manifesting a great talent for drawing in his boyhood, he was placed as a draughtsman in the lithographic works of Messrs. Day & Haghe. He soon became a pupil of Louis Haghe, the water-colour painter, and was a student at the Royal Academy in 1847. He exhibited at the Society of British Artists in 1849, at the Academy in 1851, and in 1855 gained the enthusiastic praise of Ruskin by his picture, ‘The Moorland’, painted in illustration of a famous passage in ‘Locksley Hall’. His 'White Doe of Rylstone' was purchased by Mr. Ruskin. These were almost his only pictures connected by their titles with poetical fancy or legend, the landscapes which down to 1885 he continued, in spite of incessant discouragement, to contribute to the Academy, being chiefly topographical; and perhaps Ruskin's praise of his stern fidelity made him too merely literal a transcriber of nature. His best-known works are probably ‘The Jungfrau' (1857), On the Lake of Thun (1860), Tintagel' (1862), 'Gordale Scar' (1876),and 'Drifting' (1883); the last named is in the possession of Mr. Coventry Patmore. Inchbold was happy all his life in the friendship of poets and men of genius, which consoled him for the hostility of the Academy and the indifference of the public. His faults, especially the frequent hardness and chilliness of his general effects, contrasted with the over-brightness of particular portions, undoubtedly militated against the general attractiveness of his work; his failings were obtrusive, and the recognition of his merits demanded insight and sympathy. For fidelity, delicacy, and true though unadorned poetry of feeling, no painter of his day stood higher. Tennyson, Browning, Lord Houghton, and Sir Henry Thompson were among his admirers and supporters, and in Dr. Russell Reynolds he found a liberal and discriminating patron. A year or two before his death he had returned from Algeria with a large collection of sketches, in which the ordinary defects of his manner were less apparent. He died suddenly of disease of the heart at Headingly, near Leeds, 23 Jan. 1888. His memory was shortly afterwards honoured by Mr. Swinburne in a funereal ode of surpassing beauty. Inchbold himself was a poet of considerable mark; the sonnets in his 'Annus Amoris’, 1877, are interesting tokens of a refined and poetical mind, though perhaps not one possesses the finish and concentration demanded by this most difficult form of composition. [Athenaeum, 4 Feb. 1888; personal knowledge] Richard Garnett, Ll.D

List of works

A Study, in March (1855)
  • The Moorland (Dewar-stone, Dartmoor) (1854), Tate Britain, London.
  • Anstey's Cove, Devon (1854), Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
  • Devonshire Coast (1855), Tate Britain, London.
  • The White Doe of Rylstone (At Bolton) (1855), Leeds City Art Gallery.
  • A Study, in March or In Early Spring (1855), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
  • Cuillin Ridge, Skye, from Sligachan (1856), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
  • Study from Nature, Evening (1857)
  • Fishermen at Sunset (1859-60), Tate Britain, London.
  • Tintagel (1861),Tate Britain, London.
  • Lugano (a Pillar in the Foreground) 1861, Tate Britain, London.
  • Two Men Scything 1861, Tate Britain, London.
  • Tintagel 1861, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Sunlit Wood 1861, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Man Digging on the Shore 1862, Tate Britain, London.
  • Venice: A Girl in a Doorway 1862-4, Tate Britain, London.
  • Tintagel 1862, Tate Britain, London.
  • Inundation at St Marks 1863-4, Tate Britain, London.
  • San Giorgio from the Ducal Palace 1863-5, Tate Britain, London.
  • Peat Burning circa 1864-6, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Young Palm, Valentia 1865, Tate Britain, London.
  • A House in Spain, with a Minaret 1865, Tate Britain, London.
  • Shore Scene with Groups of Figures 1865, Tate Britain, London.
  • Manzanares, Madrid 1866, Tate Britain, London.
  • The Village Cross, Spain 1866, Tate Britain, London.
  • Recollection. Barden Fells 1866, Tate Britain, London.
  • Recollection, Strid, Barden Tower 1866, Tate Britain, London.
  • Gate of the Sea, Venice (1873)
  • Gordale Scar, Yorkshire exhibited 1876, Tate Britain, London.
  • The Lake of Geneva (c.1880-82)
  • A Syrian Girl at a Balcony overlooking a Bay, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Rocky Coast, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Wide Landscape, Tate Britain, London.
  • Arabian Merchants, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Shepherd on the Downs, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Girl Seated on Rocks in a Wood, Tate Britain, London.
  • Forest of Fontainebleau: A Chestnut Tree, Tate Britain, London.
  • Valencia. The Well, Tate Britain, London.
  • Venice, Nocturne. San Giorgio Maggiore, Tate Britain, London.
  • Fairy Dell. A Man and a Dog in a Sunlit Clearing, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Procession of Peasants among Trees, Tate Britain, London.
  • Forest of Fontainebleau: A Peasant outside a Church under Trees, Tate Britain, London.
  • Forest of Fontainebleau: A Path in the Woods, Tate Britain, London.
  • Whilst Waiting for the Train, Swiss Alps, Tate Britain, London.
  • A Rocky Coast, Tate Britain, London.
  • Coast Scene with Fishing Boats and Rainbows, Tate Britain, London.
  • Mountain Vale, Tate Britain, London.
  • The Lake of Lucerne, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


  1. ^ In public domain, accessed on-line on 27 Feb. 2009

External links

  • The Pre-Raph Pack Discover more about the artists, the techniques they used and a timeline spanning 100 years.


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