The youngest of the highly productive Fielding brothers, Newton Fielding shared his time between London and Paris, and worked in both cities as a painter, printmaker and drawing master. During the 1820s, he was close to Richard Parkes Bonington and his Anglo-French circle. Newton Fielding was the youngest of the five artist sons of the Yorkshire painter, Nathan Theodore Fielding, of whom the best known was Copley Fielding. Probably born in London, he became apprenticed to a doctor in the capital in 1815, while exhibiting at the Society of Painters in Water Colours for the first time in the same year (during its reconstitution as the Society of Painters in oil and Water-Colours). Exhibiting there for a second time in 1818, he abandoned his articles and turned to art, joining the family business at 26 Newman Street, in the artists’ quarter north of Oxford Street. He made his name with brightly-coloured watercolours of animals and birds in natural settings, partly inspired by the sporting tradition of the Alken family of artists.
Also working as a printmaker, he produced British Game Illustrated in Twelve Spirited Etchings in 1821.
Soon after, Fielding moved to Paris to work with his brother Thales for the publisher, J F d’Ostervald. Through the 1820s, the brothers played an important role in disseminating images by the Anglo-French school of watercolourists, centring on Eugène Delacroix and Richard Parkes Bonington. In the summer of 1824, Newton Fielding accompanied Bonington on a sketching tour of the Normandy coast. he became well known for his own albums of lithographs.
Fielding also developed an extensive teaching practice, becoming drawing master to the family of King Louis-Philippe in 1827, and taking William Callow as a pupil in 1829. He and Callow would collaborate, with Fielding introducing figures into Callow’s landscapes.
When revolution broke out in Paris in 1830, Fielding abandoned the family atelier and returned to London, where he worked with Thales and their brother, Theodore. Marrying a French woman in 1833, he and his wife then divided their time between Paris and London. In 1838, when he exhibited two French views in Liverpool, he gave his London address as 2 Gothic Cottages, Park Village East, Regent’s Park.
However, illness from bronchitis in 1845 led Fielding to settle permanently in Paris. As an experienced drawing master, he published a series of manuals during the early 1850s, but found the market too competitive, and suffered hardship as a result. He died in Paris on 12 January 1856. His work is represented in the collections of the British Museum.
Further reading L H Cust (rev Huon Mallalieu), ‘Fielding, Newton Smith Limbird’ (1799-1856)’, H C G Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, vol 19, page 511; Marcia Pointon, ‘Fielding: (5) Newton (Limbird Smith) Fielding (b Durham, 1797; d Paris, 1856)’, Jane Turner (ed), The Dictionary of Art, London: Macmillan, 1996, vol 11, pages 60-61