James Clark (1812 – 1884)
James Clark was born in Chelsea, London as one of the 10 children to James Lawrence Clark and the former Charlotte Ambridge.
The exact date of James Clark became a painter is still unknown as the first record of his occupation was not documented until the baptism of his first child where he noted that he was an “animal painter”. Of James & Elizabeth’s 7 children, 3 of his sons – Samuel, Albert & Octavius – all went on to join their Father’s occupation as artists. Along a similar theme, James Clark’s third born son, Charles became a herald painter and youngest son Theadore pursued a career as a house painter and decorator.
After James remarried, to Frances Mary Ann Parsons, and had another child – James Albert Clark, he taught his new son how to paint at the age of 18 and they worked together to create new pieces under the signature ‘James Clark and Son’.
James Clark’s acclaimed portfolio was specialised in the portraits of prize-winning animals including pigs, cattle dogs and horses with ‘Startled’ and ‘Magnificent Bay Heavy Horse’ being amongst his repertoire. ‘The Runaway Horse’, arguably James’ most successful painting has been repeated by Sons several times and there are at least 22 different versions of this image that have been created.
James continued to paint until he passed away in early 1884 at the age of 71.