James Stark

English landscape painter in oils and watercolour (1794 - 1859)

Stark was the youngest son of Michael Stark (1749–1831) and his wife Jane (1757–1843), daughter of John Ivory (dates unrecorded), a Norwich stonemason. He was apprenticed to the artist John Crome (1768 - 1821) between 1811 and 1814 and moved to London shortly after to study figure drawing. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in London in 1817 and was awarded a premium by the British Institution in 1818 for his painting 'Lambeth, Looking towards Westminster Bridge'.

By 1821 Stark had begun to experiment with etching and married Elizabeth Dinmore (1792 – 1834) that year. Due to poor health, caused by kidney stones, he was forced to return to his family home in Norwich. Stark exhibited with the Norwich Society of Artists between 1809 and 1832 and became the society's vice-president in 1828 and later its president in 1830. He continued to exhibit in London at the Royal Academy of Arts, the British Institution, the Royal Watercolour Society, and the Society of British Artists between 1811 and 1859.

Stark returned to London in 1830, where his son, Arthur James Stark (1831 - 1902), was also able to pursue a training in art too. His son went on to become a landscape and animal painter. Stark is thought to have travelled widely in Britain in search of inspiration. His early paintings were often of wooded scenes, influenced by the work of English artist John Crome (1768 - 1821) and the Dutch painter Meindert Hobbema (1638 - 1709). His watercolours were freely sketched and he is said to have believed his style was so unique and unmistakable, that he left his paintings unsigned.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker
  • Nationality
    British
  • Born
    1794-11-19
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Norwich
  • Died
    1859-03-24
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Cause of death
    disease of the kidneys and bladder
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