The death of Mr. Creswick on the 28th ult., at Linden Grove, Bayswater (where he long had Mulready for neighbour), leaves a vacancy in the ranks of the Forty R.A.s, which cannot be filled up with a landscape-painter (so exclusively to be considered) from the list of Associates. It is nearly thirty years since the Academic body was recruited by a practitioner of what is generally considered one of the most original and successful branches of British art. The consequence is that, if we except Messrs. Redgrave and Mason, both of whom may be as fairly ranged with figure as with landscape painters, a highly characteristic department of the national art is represented in the Royal Academy only by the declining powers of the veteran landscapist Mr. F. R. Lee.
Mr. Creswick's life and works present scant materials for biographer or critic. Both were comparatively monotonous and devoid of stirring incident. The works indicate a cheerful, genial mind, looking always on the bright side of Nature in her less impressive aspects and in her familiar moods. Great industry was employed in frequent iteration of popular subjects treated in an easy, elegant, airy, conventional manner. The becks of Yorkshire, the mountain streams of Wales, and the banks of the Wye and other rivers, supplied the staple productions of more than forty years of a happy art-life. Mr. Creswick was born at Sheffield, Yorkshire, in 1811. He came to London whilst still a youth, and his first contributions to the Royal Academy exhibitions, which were views of “Llyn Gwynant Morning, and of “Carnarvon Castle,” appeared at Somerset House as early as 1828. He continued in immediately succeeding years to exhibit subjects derived generally from the streams, lanes, and villages of the midland counties. These were alternated in 1836 with views from the coast, the woodlands, the heaths and downs of Sussex. Thenceforward Mr. Creswick's subjects and effects varied but little from the class for which we have indicated this preference; and his early-developed powers remained at nearly the same level till the first approach of the long and distressing illness which at length terminated in his death. A series of Cornish scenes, and another series of Irish landscapes, chequered the uniformity of his subjects, but not the similarity of his execution. His largest, most important works exhibited from year to year at the Academy were often among the most popular pictures in the annual gatherings. This was due in general to the sweet, homely sentiment and the fresh beauty of aerial perspective which distinguished them. Mr. Creswick undertook, in conjunction with Mr. Redgrave, the arrangement of the pictures of the British school in the International Exhibition of 1862. He often painted in harmonious association with Mr. Frith, Mr. Ansdell, and in later years with Mr. Bottomley — the first supplying figures, the two latter animals, to Mr. Creswick's landscapes.
He executed an extensive series of pictures from the scenery of North Wales, which were reproduced in lithography as a companion series to the “ Lake Scenery painted by Pyne. Among his best-remembered works are “ Home by the Sands,” “The Windings of a River,” “Doubtful Weather," “The London Road & Hundred Years Ago,” “The Weald of Kent,” “Course of the Greta,” “The Wharfe,” “The Forest Farm,” “The Happy Spring Time,” “The Smithy,” and “A Welsh River.” He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1842, and a full Academician in 1851.
The portrait of Mr. Creswick is from a photograph by Mr. John Watkins, of Parliament-street.
“T. Credwick, R.A.” Illustrated London News 56 (8 January 1870), 53.
Last modified 9 May 2021