MIDDLETON, John

1827 - 1856

John Middleton

John Middleton, was born in Norwich on 9 January and baptised at St Stephen's church on 14 January 1827, son of John Middleton, a plumber, glazier, painter and glass stainer, and his wife Ann. A pupil of two painters of the Norwich School, John Berney Ladbrooke [q.v.] at school and Joseph Stannard, his friend Thomas Lound [q.v.] was also had a major influence on his work. Middleton went to London in 1847 and had instruction from Henry Bright [q.v.] who had a further major influence in Middleton’s style such that their works are often difficult to tell apart, with many of Middleton’s watercolours dated 1847 and in which year he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy but thereafter he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institute until 1855. He also exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Art Association [q.v.] at Ipswich in 1850, four works 'Clearing the Forest', 'Landscape-Evening', 'The Marsh Lane - A Passing Shower' and 'Forest Scene'. He returned to live at 63 St Stephen’s Street, Norwich in 1849 but visited Tunbridge Wells and in 1853 Scotland and from 1852 lived at Surrey Street, Norwich. His health was never very good and he died of consumption at Surrey Street, Norwich in 1856, at the early age of 29.


Middleton was a committee member of the Norwich Photographic Society and was befriended by a wealthy landowner, William Bolding, living at Weybourne in north Norfolk, perhaps eliciting his patronage. They were certainly close and sketched together. Middleton had a liking for river scenes, rocks and dry river-beds and his painterly eye can be seen at work in the few of his photographs which have survived. Bolding, on the other hand, devoted a great deal of time to photography and produced some very fine portraits of his estate workers and family. During a visit to north Wales circa 1850, Middleton took photographs and he seems not to have made any paintings resulting from this visit.






Works by This Painter