James Stark (1794-1859)
View in Windsor Park
Inscribed on label verso
Oil on Canvas
18 x 24 inches – 45.7 x 61 cm
Private Collection, UK
The youngest of three sons of a dyer, James Stark was apprenticed to the Norwich painter John ‘Old’ Crome (1768-1821) with whom he studied for three years before entering the Royal Academy Schools in London, having exhibited at the Royal Academy itself in 1811 and continuing to do so in 1812, 1814 and 1815. In this latter year, Stark returned to East Anglia, possibly a result of ill health.
However, in 1818 he was awarded a prize of £50, a considerable sum, by the British Institution. In 1821 Stark married Elizabeth Dinmore and moved to Great Yarmouth, a fashionable seaside resort where they remained for some years. 1827 saw Stark return to Norwich and commence publication of “Scenery of the Rivers Yare, Waverney and Bure”, a folio of engravings that received critical acclaim. His success prompted Stark to return to London, and Windsor where he lived for some years painting a series of landscapes in Windsor Park and the surrounding area. In his later years, based in London, Stark continued to travel widely, painting in Yorkshire, Sussex, Hampshire and his native Norfolk. Stark was one of the foremost painters of the Norwich School and a significant figure in English landscape painting.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1811 to 1859, and at the British Institution, Norwich and elsewhere. His son Arthur James Stark (1831-1902) was a pupil. Stark was and remains highly regarded, his works were widely collected in Europe and America, being included in major estate dispersals in the nineteenth century.
His works can be found in museums in: Birmingham; Cambridge; Edinburgh; Glasgow; London, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum; Norwich; Nottingham and Wolverhampton.