George John Pinwell

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George John Pinwell RWS (High Wycombe 26 December 1842 – 8 September 1875 London), was a British watercolour painter.

The Artist George J Pinwell 1842-1875 from Williamson's 1900 biography


Pinwell received his art education at educated at St. Martin's Lane Academy and Heatherley's Academy. He belonged to the small group of watercolour painters which included Frederick Walker and Arthur Boyd Houghton, whose style was came from drawing on wood for book illustration. His career was cut short by an early death.

He came from a poor background, but in 1862 he entered Heatherley's studio and there obtained his art education. His earliest drawings appeared in Littiput Levée. He did a little work for the periodical Fun and executed several designs for the silversmiths Elkington's. He worked for Josiah Wood Whymper and through him met J W North and Fred Walker.[1] In 1863 his first drawing appeared in Once a Week and from that time his work was in constant demand. There were many of his compositions in Good Words, The Sunday Magazine, The Quiver and London Society, and he subsequently illustrated for the Dalziel Brothers' editions of Oliver Goldsmith, of Jean Ingelow's poems, Robert Buchanan's Ballads of the Affections, and the Arabian Nights. Best-known were two scenes from the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Gilbert à Becket's Troth, Out of Tune (or The Old Cross), A Seat in St James's Park (1869; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney) and The Elixir of Life.

In 1874 Pinwell fell seriously ill and went to Africa for the winter. He painted pictures at Tangier, but his strength gradually broke down and he returned to die in his wife's arms. Pinwell contributed watercolours to the Dudley Gallery from 1865 onwards, and in 1869 was elected associate of the Royal Watercolour Society and then full member in 1871.[2] To this gallery he contributed fifty-nine works. He died in London, and is buried at Highgate Cemetery. A posthumous exhibition of his works was held in February–March 1876 in Bond Street.



  1. WILLIAMSON, GEORGE C. (1900). GEORGE J. PINWELL AND HIS WORKS. London: GEORGE BELL and SONS.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 'Obituary: George John Pinwell', The Art Journal, December 1875, pp. 365–66 (366).

Further reading

  • Williamson, George Charles. George J. Pinwell and his works (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1900).
  • Trimpe, Pamela White. George John Pinwell: A Victorian Artist and Illustrator (Peter Lang Pub., 2001)

External links