John Ward (painter)

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John Ward (1798–1849)[1] was an English painter from Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire. He has been described as "the leading marine artist and ship portrait painter in Hull during the first half of the 19th century".[2]


John Ward was born on 28 December 1798, the son of a master mariner, Abraham Ward, who also was a painter. John received an education and was apprenticed as a house painter. By 1826, Ward was listed in the local Hull Directory as a "House and Ship Painter".[1]

Ward married Esther Leonard of Hull. He was initiated as a Freemason. He became a friend of the artist William Anderson.[1]

Ward exhibited several paintings in 1827 at the Hull and East Riding Institute for the Promotion of the Fine Arts. He subsequently produced small watercolour paintings and some larger oil paintings, of local maritime and shipping scenes.[1]

Though Ward died in 1849, his importance was not recognised until 1883, when the local press briefly described his life.[1]

Many of his works are now in public collections, including the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Maritime Museum[2] and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C..


2009 art theft[edit]

In June 2009, one of Ward's paintings, "Schooners Ellen Crawford and Dwina" (1843), was stolen from Hull Maritime Museum.[2] The painting, worth £10,000, was recovered three months later after being found hanging on the thief's dining room wall; he had stolen the painting as a present for his artist wife.[3] At his trial, the Crown Court judge described the painting as "part of the heritage of the city of Hull, building on its reputation and art links with the maritime world".[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Harbron, Dudley. John Ward, Painter (1798–1849), Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, October 1941, p. 130.
  2. ^ a b c "Oil painting may have been stolen from museum to order", Yorkshire Post, 8 July 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b "£10,000 painting found on thief's wall", Hull Daily Mail, 13 February 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2013.