Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897)


Professions: Painter; Illustrator; Historical-scenes painter

Biography:

(b blackheath, 21 july 1817; d blackheath, 5 oct 1897). English illustrator and painter. while articled to his father’s estate agency for two years, he spent his time sketching city of london costumes and liveries and regimental uniforms. this meticulous historical knowledge helped when he became a full-time artist in 1836, exhibiting oils at the royal society of british artists and the british institution, both in london. from 1842 he was the first artist to contribute historical scenes to the illustrated london news , making a total of 30,000 illustrations in 40 years. gilbert found ample employment in book illustration, his classical draughtsmanship being ideal for such publications as howard staunton’s shakespeare (1856–60). he began to paint in watercolour in 1851, developing mastery as a colourist and in working on a large scale; he was elected to the old water colour society in 1854 and was its president in 1871.


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