John Callcott Horsley

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John Callcott Horsley

English painter

Born 1817 - Died 1903

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HORSLEY, JOHN CALLCOTT (1817-1903), English painter, son of William Horsley, the musician, and grand-nephew of Sir Augustus Callcott, was born in London, on the agth of January 1817. He studied painting in the Academy schools, and in 1836 exhibited The Pride of the Village (Vernon Gallery) at the Royal Academy. This was followed by numerous genre pictures at subsequent exhibitions up to 1893, the best known of these being Malvolio, L'Allegro and il Penseroso (painted for the Prince Consort), Le Jour des Morts, A Scene from Don Quixote, &c. In 1843 his cartoon of St Augustine Preaching won a prize in the Westminster Hall competition, and in 1844 he was selected as oneof thesix painters commissioned to execute frescoes for the Houses of Parliament, his Religion (1845) being put in the House of Lords; he also painted the Henry V. assuming the Crown and Satan surprised at the Ear of Eve. In 1864 he became R.A., and in 1882 was elected treasurer, a post which he held till 1897, when he resigned and became a "retired Academician." Mr Horsley had much to do with organizing the winter exhibitions of "Old Masters" at Burlington House after 1870. When, during the 'eighties, the example of the French Salon began to affect the Academy exhibitors, and paintings of the nude became the fashion, he protested against the innovation, and his attitude caused Punch to give him the punning sobriquet of "Mr J. C(lothes) Horsley." He died on the 18th of October 1903. His son, Sir Victor Horsley (b. 1857), became famous as a surgeon and neuropathologist, and a prominent supporter of the cause of experimental research.

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.


brother-in-law of

  • Brunel, Isambard Kingdom (1805-1859)
  • Haden, Seymour (1818-1910)

father of

  • Horsley, Gerald (1865-1917)
  • Horsley, Walter Charles (1855-)

nephew of

  • Callcott, Augustus Wall (1779-1844)

Image courtesy of Don Kurtz