MIDDLETON, John

1827 - 1856

John Middleton

John Middleton, was born at Norwich on 9 January and baptised at St Stephen's Church on 14 January 1827, son of John Middleton (c1787-6 April 1848), a plumber, glazier, painter and glass stainer, and his wife Ann née Bayfield (1801-1 January 1830). Educated at Norwich Grammar School and 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 where he exhibited 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'. On the death of his father at Norwich on 6 April 1848, aged 61, he announced on 29 April that he was to continue his late father's 'plate, crown and horticultural glass...and oil and colour warehouse' business at 63 St Stephen’s Street, Norwich but continued with his painting, exhibiting at the Norwich & Norfolk Association for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in 1848 'Cantley Beck, near Ketteringham'. 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. Bolding, on the other hand, devoted a great deal of time to photography and produced some very fine portraits of his estate workers and family. During a visit to north Wales circa 1850, Middleton took photographs and he seems not to have made any paintings resulting from this visit. 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.




Works by This Artist