John William Inchbold
Biography of John William Inchbold
John William Inchbold (29 August 1830 – 23 January 1888) was an English painter born in Leeds, Yorkshire and influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite style. He was the son of a Yorkshire newspaper owner, Thomas Inchbold.
Inchborld was born 29 April 1830 at Leeds, where Thomas Inchbold, his father, was proprietor and editor of the 'Leeds Intelligencer’. Having a great talent for drawing in his boyhood, he started as a draughtsman in the lithographic works of Messrs. Day & Haghe.
He became a pupil of Louis Haghe, the water-colour painter, and was a student at the Royal Academy in 1847. He exhibited at the Society of British Artists in 1849, at the Academy in 1851, and in 1855 gained the enthusiastic praise of John Ruskin for, ‘The Moorland’, which was painted in illustration of a famous passage in ‘Locksley Hall’. His 'White Doe of Rylstone' was purchased by Ruskin. These were almost his only pictures connected by their titles with poetical fancy or legend, the landscapes which down to 1885 he continued, in spite of incessant discouragement, to contribute to the Academy, being chiefly topographical; and perhaps Ruskin's praise of his stern fidelity made him too merely literal a transcriber of nature. His best-known works are probably ‘The Jungfrau' (1857), On the Lake of Thun (1860), Tintagel' (1862), 'Gordale Scar' (1876),and 'Drifting' (1883); the last named is in the possession of Mr. Coventry Patmore. Inchbold was happy all his life in the friendship of poets and men of genius, which consoled him for the hostility of the Academy and the indifference of the public. His faults, especially the frequent hardness and chilliness of his general effects, contrasted with the over-brightness of particular portions, undoubtedly militated against the general attractiveness of his work; his failings were obtrusive, and the recognition of his merits demanded insight and sympathy. For fidelity, delicacy, and true though unadorned poetry of feeling, no painter of his day stood higher. Tennyson, Browning, Lord Houghton, and Sir Henry Thompson were among his admirers and supporters, and in Dr. Russell Reynolds he found a liberal and discriminating patron. A year or two before his death he had returned from Algeria with a large collection of sketches, in which the ordinary defects of his manner were less apparent. He died suddenly of disease of the heart at Headingly, near Leeds, 23 Jan. 1888. His memory was shortly afterwards honoured by Mr. Swinburne in a funereal ode of surpassing beauty. Inchbold himself was a poet of considerable mark; the sonnets in his 'Annus Amoris’, 1877, are interesting tokens of a refined and poetical mind, though perhaps not one possesses the finish and concentration demanded by this most difficult form of composition
John William Inchbold Poems
Mysterious force, as beautiful as strange, And pure with beauty and with mystery, Queen of the world in wide extent of range,
Whence hither come, and by what fortune led? To bring such sweet content, such happy rest, Have we not clear and mutual knowledge fed
O wherefore write thy thoughts in careful measure? It cannot be thine own voice gives thee joy, In song is there an all-sufficient treasure,
In a dream of the night, Afar from the day, By the soft moon light, You passed my way.
O wherefore ever onward Love, O why Not rest with me awhile, and bid me take Thine own sweet flowers that everywhere grow high
I sing of love that has been sung before, I tell the oldest tale of all the world; But new or old, I sing yet more and more,
There is a book wherein we sometimes see A dim reflection of the face of God; Awful at times these writings seem to be,
Like unto echoed music in a dream, A slowly sailing cloud in summer's sky, Achieving some mysterious work on high,
Illusions Of Love
In midst of dark and dreary days and nights, In sad and faded autumn of the year, When we recall those past and pure delights,
As clear as calm experience comes at last, To weary wayfarer from some far land, So dawns the thought whose setting long seemed past,
Yet once again, O Spring, Spring sweet and fair! In fresh March morning with the birds I sing, The groves have had a bitter time to bear,
To that unconscious Beauty that has wrought In me, through many years in many lands, By stream and wood and plain and barren strands,
Are there no slaves but those who wear a chain? None with the deep curse branded on their breast, But those whose deadened sense finds sullen rest
O power of beauty on a woman's brow! What strength is like to thine for good or ill? Who dares attempt thine awful throne to fill
O wherefore write thy thoughts in careful measure?
It cannot be thine own voice gives thee joy,
In song is there an all-sufficient treasure,
Whose numbers leave no lingering alloy?
Take this my answer, Love, and then I cease;—
I sang that thou might'st read with loving mind,
That images of beauty might increase,
And treasure, still more treasure, haply find;—
But I have done—to thee the sea and sky,