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John Middleton (1828-1856)
A Norfolk wooded landscape
13 x 19 inches

Exhibited: Norwich Castle Museum, 1927

Provenance: Mandells Gallery, Norwich



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John Middleton was born in Norwich, the son of John Middleton a plumber, glazier, painter and glass stainer. Educated at Norwich Grammar School, he was a pupil of Norwich School artist, John Berney Ladbrooke, his friend Thomas Lound also had a major influence on his work. Middleton had instruction from Henry Bright who had a further major influence in Middleton’s style, such that their works are often difficult to tell apart. In 1847 he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy and also at the British Institute until 1855. He also exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association at Ipswich in 1850, four works 'Clearing the Forest', 'Landscape-Evening', 'The Marsh Lane-A Passing Shower' and 'Forest Scene'. From about 1852 he lived at Surrey Street, Norwich but travelled around the country and in 1853 visited Scotland. Middleton was a committee member of the Norwich Photographic Society and was befriended by a wealthy landowner, William Bolding, living at Weybourne in North Norfolk, perhaps eliciting his patronage. They were certainly close and sketched together. Middleton had a liking for river scenes, rocks and dry river-beds and his painterly eye can be seen at work in the few of his photographs which have survived. Middleton's health was never very good and he died of consumption at Surrey Street, Norwich on 11 November 1856, at the early age of 29.

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