John William Inchbold

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


Inchbold was born 29 April 1830 at Leeds, Yorkshire, where his father, Thomas Inchbold, was the proprietor and editor of the Leeds Intelligencer. Having shown an early talent for drawing he moved to London[1] and became a draughtsman in the lithographic works of Day and Haghe.[2]

Inchbold 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 from 1851.[2] At first he worked in watercolour in a free style, but his first exhibited oil painting, shown at the Academy in 1852 showed the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement,[1] and in 1855 he gained the enthusiastic praise of John Ruskin for The Moorland, which he painted to illustrate a passage from Tennyson's Locksley Hall. His painting, White Doe of Rylstone was purchased by Ruskin.[2]

Inchbold spent much of the later part of his life abroad, mainly in Switzerland, where he had spent some time with Ruskin in the mid-1850s.[1] 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 was once in the possession of Coventry Patmore. 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 heart disease at Headingley in Leeds, on 23 January 1888. His memory was honoured by Swinburne in a funeral ode.[2]

Inchbold published a book of sonnets called Annus Amoris in 1876.[1]

List of works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The Pre-Raphaelites (exhibition catalogue). London: The Tate Gallery. 1984. p. 33.
  2. ^ a b c d Dictionary of National Biography Entry, Volume 28, page 426, In public domain, accessed on-line on 27 February 2009
  3. ^ 'Tintagel', 1862; Tate Britain

Christopher Newall, John William Inchbold: Pre-Raphaelite Landscape Artist, exhibition catalogue, Leeds City Art Gallery, 1993

External links[edit]

15 paintings by or after John William Inchbold at the Art UK site