PEEL, James

1811 - 1906

James Peel was born at Westage Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 1 July 1811 and baptised at St John's Church, Newcastle on 28 July 1811, son of Thomas Peel, (died 24 April 1822), a woollen draper, and a partner in the firm of Fenwick, Reid & Co., and his wife Elizabeth née Martinson who married at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 25 January 1807. James was educated at Bruce's School, Newcastle where Alexander Dalziel (1781-1832), father of the wood engravers the Dalziel Brothers, first taught him drawing. In 1840, James came to London as a portrait painter and amongst his early work were full-sized copies of Wilkie's 'Blind Fiddler' and 'The Village Festival' now in the National Gallery, as well as portraits and miniatures. He then decided to confine himself to landscape painting which he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1843 until 1888 and at the Royal Society of British Artists from 1845 onwards. He exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association at Ipswich in 1850, four works 'Canal View, Yorkshire', 'Showery Day: Banks of a River', 'In Wensley Dale, Yorkshire' and 'Todmorden Vale'. His pictures made their mark by their feeling for nature and excellent drawing, especially of trees and three of his works, 'A Lane in Berwickshire,' 'Cotherstone, Yorkshire,' and 'Pont-y-pant, Wales,' are now in the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, where a loan exhibition of his works was held in 1907. In 1841 he was living at Priestgate, Darlington, the home of Thomas Blyth, a house & sign writer and his family, and he married Thomas's eldest daughter, Sarah Martha Blyth (1825-1853) on 30 May 1849. They had two children Arthur, born in 1850 and Margaret in 1852 who died at Branson House, Darlington on 17 January 1853 and his 28-year-old wife followed on 13 October 1853, when James came to London. In 1855 he exhibited at the National Institute of Fine Arts at the Portland Gallery, Regent's Street, London 'Woodcutters in Alnwick Park' and in 1861 admitted a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, of which he became a leading supporter and, with Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893), William Bell Scott (1811-1890) and other artists, an organiser of 'free' exhibitions like those of the Dudley Gallery and of the Portland Gallery. James Peel continued working until his death at his home, Western Elms Lodge, Oxford Road, Reading, on 28 January 1906.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 4 Barton Street, Westminster
1843 524 Quoit Players
         525 The Flute Player
1844 194 On the Wansbeck, Northumberland
         507 A View on Shooter's Hill, Kent
1845 255 Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire
         447 Saltwood Castle, Kent
         639 Morning-Sesmond Dene, Northumberland
1846 248 Windermere and the Langdale Pikes
         426 Lane Scene, Cumberland
1847 208 Yorkshire Dale Scenary
         305 Lane Scene, Northumberland
         310 Westonhanger formerly the Palace of the King's of Kent
from 10 Bloomfield Place, Pimlico
1848 606 Dunholme Bridge, Swalesdale, Yorkshire
         904 Gateway of Walley Abbey, Yorkshire - drawing
         1086 Richmond, Yorkshire - architecture
from 151 Strand
1849 592 Trout Fishing
         1079 Near Guisborough, Yorkshire
1850 528 Hill Pastures in Swaledale, Yorkshire
         888 Canal View, Todmorden, Yorkshire
1851 400 Lake Scene, Swaledale, Yorkshire
1852 299 View on the Tees
         1296 At Dalehouse, in Cleveland
from Branson House, Darlington
1853 556 A Little Brook in Wensleydale
         1090 Easby Abbey, Yorkshire
1854 215 A River Side in March
         268 A Welsh River
1855 197 A Ford, near Coldstream
         673 The Borders of Staffordshire and Derbyshire on the Trent
1856 40 The Weir, at Durham
         530 An April Afternoon at Easby Abbey
1857 202 A Day in March, by The Tees
         451 Coast of Arran

Works by This Artist