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James Harris Seascape Painter

JAMES HARRIS (1810-1887)

The Harris family came from Exeter to Swansea in 1828, when James Harris was 18, and set up a picture framing business at 40 Wind Street. James worked in this business until about 1846. He was recognised as having a talent as an artist, and in the 1830’s the Revd. Calvert Richard Jones introduced him to marine painter George Chambers. It is said that James Harris worked in Chamber’s London studio, probably financed by Calvert Jones.

James Harris was able to make a living as a marine painter, among the owners and masters of Swansea ships. His early style was 18th century in conception with ships often in dramatic situations. From the 1850’s he became very friendly with Edward Duncan RWS, a talented watercolour painter who visited Gower regularly with his family. From about 1860, Harris’s style of painting changed to a more Victorian approach, probably under the influence of Duncan.

Harris lived in Oystermouth until 1882 when he moved to Reynoldston. He died in 1887 and is buried in Reynoldston churchyard.

Below: An extract from 'Ships running into Swansea Harbour' c.1850 oil on canvas (Original size 29 x 38.7 cms.).



The View for Sunday 4 December 2000

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