Henry Jutsum (1816-1869) A skilled painter of landscapes in both oil and watercolour, Henry Jutsum absorbed the influence of members of the highly regarded Norwich School of Painters to produce exquisitely detailed and accurate paintings of idyllic British rural scenes. Henry Jutsum was born in London on 11 September 1816, the second son of John Jutsum and his wife, Elizabeth. he was baptised at St Mary Marylebone on 4 October. As a child, he was educated in Devon, where his rural surroundings ensured that a precocious artistic talent was turned towards landscape painting from an early age. When he returned as a young man to London to complete his studies, his countrified upbringing inspired him to regularly paint from nature, particularly in Kensington Gardens.
From the mid 1830s, the young Henry Jutsum began to establish his reputation as a skilled landscape artist. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836 at the age of 19, and would exhibit there every year except 1867, until his death.
Around this time, he also began exhibiting at the British Institution, a private art society in Suffolk Street, London.
One of the most significant moments of Jutsum’s career was the decision to become apprenticed to the Norwich School artist, James Stark.
The art historian, Janet Whitmore, suggests that this took place in 1830, when Jutsum was just 14 years old, whereas others indicate the relationship began later, in 1839. In either case, Stark and his contemporaries were undoubtedly a substantial influence on him. First led by John Crome and Robert Ladbrooke, the Norwich School was one of the first regional landscape painting schools in Europe, and its strong topographical focus was highly compatible with Jutsum’s style. Jutsum was a skilled painter in both oil and watercolour, though his predominant focus on watercolour painting during the 1830s and much of the 1840s is likely to have been due in part to the influence of the watercolourist, John Sell Cotman, who had become the head of the Norwich School in 1821.
In 1843, Jutsum was elected a member of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours, though he resigned in 1847 in order to focus more on his painting in oil. He continued to paint from nature, embarking on numerous painting trips across the country, from Devon to the Scottish Highlands. That he was able to travel so regularly hints at his growing commercial success. his painting, Devonshire Coast, received critical acclaim at the Royal Academy in 1851, and his popularity was further demonstrated by a hand-coloured engraving of an earlier work, The Noon-day Walk, which appeared in The Art Journal in 1858.
Henry Jutsum remained unmarried throughout his life. Between 1851 and 1861, he lived at 6 Prospect Place, Paddington, with his older brother Rowland. The pair then moved to 88 Hamilton Terrace, in the affluent suburb of St John’s Wood, where he lived until his death on 3 March 1869.