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John James Wilson (1818 - 1875)

Boats Near Dover Coast

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Oil on canvas
23.5 x 44 cm (9 ¼ x 17 ¼ inches)
Signed lower left, J Wilson

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Artist's Biography

Born in London in 1818, Scottish painter John James Wilson was the son and pupil of the distinguished maritime artist John H. ‘Jock’ Wilson, RSA (1774 - 1845). Though in his early career Wilson dealt strictly with landscapes, his later and more celebrated works, composed after circa 1850, are almost entirely nautical in inspiration. The superiority of his later works is reflected in the British art historian and art dealer, Algernon Graves’ categorisation of Wilson as a painter of sea pieces, despite his reputation as an accomplished landscapist.

By the time of his death in 1875, John James Wilson had exhibited over five hundred times in London alone, including fifty-five exhibits at the Royal Academy, as well as at the British Institute and Suffolk Street Galleries. His work remains on display at several major institutions, including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, the Folkestone Art Gallery, and the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield.

John James Wilson