British artist Joseph Newington Carter is known predominantly for his dramatic and compelling seascapes in oil and watercolour. Depicting both imaginary and actual locations, Carter’s work is imbued with rich romanticism. Theatrical lighting sets the scene for hazy skies and surging waves. Even the small touches of realism Carter adds, portraying labourers at work on the seafront and the harbour, are subsumed into this atmosphere of mysticism.
Artistic ability ran strong in Carter’s bloodline. His brother, in his profession as a surgeon, illustrated editions of ‘Gray’s Anatomy.’ Carter’s father, more significantly, was also a seascape painter, exhibiting several times at the Royal Academy. He also worked as a drawing master, and the similarities in his son’s work to his own suggest Carter was taught predominantly by his father. Both artists, it is clear, took inspiration from Turner.
Records show that the Carter family had strong connections with the Navy. However, for Joseph Newington Carter, the allure of the sea was its reputation as a compelling artistic subject. It was to this that he committed his life.