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John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868)

John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868)

The Newcastle artist, John Wilson Carmichael, has gained a particular reputation for his impressive marine subjects, which were informed by his own experience as a sailor and ship builder. However, he was a wide-ranging painter of landscapes and townscapes, especially early in his career, when he collaborated closely with leading local architect, John Dobson.

John Wilson Carmichael was born at Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 9 June 1799, the eldest of the three children of the shipwright, William Carmichael, and his wife, Mary (née Johnson), the daughter of a mariner. During his teens, he spent three years at sea, working on a ship that sailed between Spanish and Portuguese ports. He then followed his father’s trade, and was apprenticed to the ship builder, Richard Farrington & Brothers, of North Shore, Newcastle. The Farringtons were also cabinet makers, upholsterers, gilders and carvers, and were engaged in the cultural life of the town.

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