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John Thomas Serres (1759-1825)

John Thomas Serres (1759-1825)

John Thomas Serres was a marine and landscape painter, who was drawn to portraying dramatic weather conditions, and also represented Thames-side life in sensitive detail.

John Thomas Serres was born in London in December 1759. He studied under his father, Dominic Serres, a successful marine painter of French origin. Specialising in marine subjects and landscapes, he worked as a drawing-master – both at the maritime school at Ormonde House in Chelsea and independently – and exhibited from 1780 at the Royal Academy of Arts. (However, unlike his father, he was never elected an academician.)

Staying in Paris during the fall of the Bastille in 1789, Serres went on to Rome and Naples, an experience that encouraged him to sign himself ‘Giovanni T Serres’ for some time after. In 1791, soon after his return from the Continent, he married his former pupil, Olivia Wilmot, the daughter of a house painter employed by the Earl of Warwick. She bore him four children between 1792 and 1802.

On the death of his father in 1793, Serres succeeded him as Marine Painter to George III.

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