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Original works of art

James Ward
(English, 1769 -1859 )

James Ward was one of the most interesting artists of his time. He initially had little artistic training, but his talent was eventually recognized. He was apprenticed to the engraver John Raphael Smith, and then worked for his brother, the engraver, William Ward. Under the influence of George Morland, who refused to take him as a student, he took up painting.

James Ward became active as an animal painter in the 1790's, developing a distinctive and vigorous style of painting. He was a successful and ambitious artist who lamented the relatively low status of animal artists in the hierarchy of the English art establishment. In point of fact, his work was greatly admired by the great French artists, Theodore Gericault and Eugene Delacroix, both of whom included horses in their work. His style was very distinctive. He used his richly colored palette, a strong brush stroke and often dramatic compositions to create memorable portraits of dogs and horses.

In 1794 he was appointed Painter and Mezzotint Engraver to the Prince of Wales. He was also commissioned by the Agriculture society to paint some 200 portraits of native breeds of livestock, although, due to no fault of his own, the project was never completed.

Ward was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1807 and a full member of the Royal Academy in 1811; he exhibited 287 words of art at the Royal Academy.


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