Claxton, Marshall, RA

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Born in Bolton, Lancs, on 12 May 1813, the son of a WM minister of the same name (1779-1832; e.m. 1799), he became a pupil of John Jackson. He studied at the Royal Academy from 1831 and first exhibited in 1832. He painted a number of historical and biblical scenes; also scenes from John Wesley's life, such as the 'Holy Club', the Wednesbury riots, Wesley preaching from his father's tomb, and the deathbed scene ('Holy Triumph', exhibited at the RA in 1842). In 1850 he went to Australia to institute a school of art and stimulate interest in painting, but was unsuccessful. However his 'View of Sydney', commissioned by Angela Burdett-Coutts was presented to Queen Victoria. He returned home via India and Egypt in 1858. Though an ambitious and industrious painter, who exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy, he failed to reach the first rank of artists of the period. He died at Maida Vale, London, after a long illness, on 28 July 1881.

  • John Telford, Sayings and Portraits of Charles Wesley (1927)
  • Oxford DNB
  • Dictionary of Australian Biography
  • J. Kerr, Dictionary of Australian Artists (1992)