James Ward was an English painter and engraver, often referred to as the greatest animal artist of the early 19th century. Born in 1769, he expressed fine drawing ability from a young age. His career began at the turn of the century when he was commissioned to create a series of animal portraits for the Board of Agriculture, leading to his reputation as a skilled animal artist.
Ward’s abilities led to a commission to paint both Wellington’s charger Copenhagen and Napoleon’s Marengo. He became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1811, and by 1814, the public saw him at the height of his reputation. It was during this time that Ward produced Gordale Scar, one of his most ambitious and greatest works.
In 1828, he moved into Roundcroft Cottage in Park Lane Cheshunt where he lived for 30 years. Ward is now ranked among the leading artists of the British Romantic movement.
The new gallery at Lowewood Museum features a number of his animal and landscape paintings and sketches. His works also feature in many museums and galleries, most notable the Tate Gallery, London.