By JAMES CLARK HOOK, R.A. (1819-1907)

From his earliest years, Hook displayed that love of the sea and the life associated with it, as well as the capacity for picturing it, which made him famous in later life. He showed a marked precocity, and at a tender age made up his mind to be an artist. First of all he studied on his own account, and for more than a year worked without supervision in the Sculpture Galleries of the British Museum. When he was seventeen he became a student at the Academy Schools, where he learned the technique of painting for three years. He exhibited his first picture, " The Hard Task," at the age of eighteen.

Five years elapsed before he exhibited another picture, but in the meantime he had been earning his living and furthering his studies in Ireland, where he painted portraits and developed his taste for landscape work in the Vale of Avoca. This second picture was a portrait, and during the year he gained a silver medal at the Royal Academy. In 1844 he exhibited in the Academy a picture illustrating a scene from "The Decameron" (Pamphilius relating his Story), which was noteworthy as initiating a series of literary studies which gained him great popularity because of their romantic picturesqueness and the brilliant manner in which he treated them.

In 1846 he gained a travelling scholarship and journeyed to Italy via Paris and Switzerland. The influence of this visit was soon seen in his work, not only in the treatment and colouring of his paintings, but also in their subjects. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1851 as the result of these works, and soon afterwards he began the superb series of English landscape and marine studies which revealed his own peculiar talents, and have preserved his memory in the grateful hearts of picture-lovers.

From the book "Famous Paintings" Volume 2 printed in 1913.

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Famous Paintings in this Series

James Archer
My Great Grandmother

The Meeting


John Brett
From the Dorsetshire Cliffs

Arnesby Brown
The River Bank

Joseph Clark
Mother's Darling

John Constable
The Hay-Wain

Jean Baptiste Camille
The Fisherman's Hut

Jean Baptiste Camille
A Flood

Leonardo Da Vinci
Monna Lisa

Edouard Detaille
The Dream

Henri Fantin-Latour

Thomas Gainsborough
Queen Charlotte

Thomas Gainsborough
The Market Cart

Jean Baptiste Greuze
The Head of a Girl

Jean Baptiste Greuze

James Clark Hook
Home With the Tide

Alfred William Hunt
Windsor Castle

Josef Israels
The Shipwrecked Mariner

B.W. Leader
The Stream in Summer-time

Madame Vigee Le Brun
Portrait of the Artist

Alphonse Legros
A Canal With a Fisherman

Anton Mauve
Watering Horses

J.L.E. Meissonier
The Cavalier

Sir J.E. Millais
Speak! Speak!

Sir J.E. Mallais
My First Sermon

George Morland
The Reckoning

George Morland
The Inside of a Stable

The Immaculate Conception
of the Virgin

Alfred Parsons
When Nature Painted
All Things Gay

Ralph Peacock
The Sisters

Syndics of the
Cloth Merchants' Guild

Guido Reni
"Ecce Homo"

Sir Joshua Reynolds
Portrait of Mrs. Richard Hoare
With Her Infant Son

Briton Riviere
The Temptation
in the Wilderness

Dante Gabriel
Day Dreams

John Singer Sargent
Miss Ellen Terry
as Lady Macbeth

Lady Stanley
(Dorothy Tennant)
His First Offence

Jan Steen
Grace Before Meat

Marcus Stone
On the Road from
Waterloo to Paris

Constant Troyon
Watering Cattle

H.S. Tuke
"All Hands to the Pumps"

King Philip IV. of Spain

S.E. Waller
Sweethearts and Wives

Thomas Webster
The Smile

Famous Paintings Volume 1
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Famous Paintings Volume 2
Art Gallery

Art Appreciation