Friday, March 22, 2024

James Clarke Hook

James Clarke Hook RA (1819 –1907) was an English painter and etcher of marine, genre and historical scenes, and landscapes and an early British beret adept.

Hook was born in London, the son of James Hook, a draper and one time Judge of the Mixed Commission Court in Sierra Leone. His mother was the second daughter of Bible scholar Dr Adam Clarke – hence the painter's second name.

In 1836, Hook was admitted as a student to the Royal Academy, London, where he worked for three years.

A travelling studentship in painting was awarded to Hook for Rizpah watching the dead sons of Saul in 1846, and he went to Italy for three years, having married fellow artist, Rosalie Burton, before leaving England. Rosalie's diaries present vivid pictures of their life in Italy and later. Hook passed through Paris, worked diligently for some time in the Louvre, traversed Switzerland, and though he stayed only part of three years in Italy, gained much from studies of Titian and other Venetians.

 The influence of these old masters dominated the future coloration of Hooke's pictures, and he applied the artistic lessons learned from his travels to the painting of romantic subjects and those English themes of land and sea which became his trademarks.

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