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James Stark (1748–1831)

James Stark  (1748–1831)

Stark was born in Norwich, the youngest son of Michael Stark (1748–1831) James showed a talent for art from an early age. He was educated at Norwich School where he became friends with John Berney Crome.  He was then apprenticed to John Berney’s father, the landscape artist John Crome, for three years from 1811.

His painting A view on King Street river, Norwich was shown at the Royal Academy in London in 1811 and in the same year he exhibited at the Norwich Society of Artists, of which he was elected a member in 1812. In 1814, following the end of his apprenticeship, he moved to London. He exhibited at the British Institution between 1814–8, winning a prize of £50 in 1818. In 1817 he became a student at the Royal Academy Schools.

After only two years of study, ill health forced Stark to return to Norwich. There he devoted himself to painting the scenery around the city and executed a series of paintings of Norfolk rivers which were eventually engraved and published in 1834. In 1821 he married Elizabeth Younge Dinmore (d. 1834/5).

In 1830, he again settled in London, taking up residence in Chelsea, and exhibited at the British Institution, the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists. In 1839, he moved to Windsor, where he painted many pictures of the scenery along the Thames, but moved back to London in 1849 in order to further his son’s artistic education. His only son, Arthur James Stark (1831–1902), born in Chelsea, became a landscapes and animal painter. He drew the cattle on a few of his father’s pictures.

Stark died at Mornington Place, Camden Town, London, in March 1859.

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