Meadows, James Edward (1828-1888)

Meadows, James Edward (1828-1888)

James Edward Meadows was a popular British painter of landscapes and marine scenes. Born in Essex, he was trained by his father, the notable maritime artist, James Meadows Senior.

Amid the exponentially increasing pace of bustling Victorian life, Meadows delivered an idealised view of a land he treasured. A rural idyll illuminated by pockets of picturesque light. Where buoyant trees are rooted in the radiance of summer and harmonious clouds swell across a patchwork of hedgerows. Life was rosy for his ambling shepherds as they guided their flocks to verdant pasture.

His landscapes offered an escape, a welcome vignette of the English countryside, cherished by his patrons. And although they each represented a specific view, they were, in a sense, homogenised for overall aesthetic effect. In many ways, his compositions are reminiscent of some of the Dutch painters of the 17th century but with an added, somewhat intangible, layer of charm.

His marine scenes were less tranquil and often captured turbulent skies and restless waters. Fishing boats lean precariously - threatening to eject crews that battle the elements. His father often painted in a similar fashion and surely inspired him in this regard.

In 1854, at the age of 26, he debuted at the hallowed Royal Academy with views of Devon and Kent. And before long, he’d developed a solid reputation for his beautified depictions of the home counties and beyond. Oils were also shown at the British Institute, Royal Society of British Artists, and galleries in Liverpool and Manchester.

Today, as we look back across his extensive body of works, we’re again transported into a gentler vision of rural life. And, perhaps, much like the Victorians before us, the requirement to escape from modernity is equally salient.


Royal Academy, Dudley Gallery, Inter-State Industrial Exposition of Chicago, British Institution, Royal Society of British Artists, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, Albert Institute in Dundee.

Public Collections

Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Ramsgate Library.



Born in Mountnessing, Essex, to James Meadows Sr, a marine painter, and Ann Meadows.


Lived in Mile End with his parents and siblings.


Lived in Clapham, Surrey, with his parents and siblings. Occupation recorded as ‘Artist’.


Debuted at the Royal Society of British Artists with a ‘View In Essex’.


Debuted at the Royal Academy with a ‘View in Essex’ and a ‘View in Devon’. A total of 26 works were shown between 1854 and 1872.


Lived in Acton, Middlesex, with his wife, Eliza, three daughters, two sons, and extended family. Occupation recorded as ‘Artist Landscape Painter’.


Lived in Acton, Middlesex, with his wife, Eliza, two daughters (both recorded as artists), two sons, extended family and a servant. Occupation recorded as ‘Artist in Oil & Watercol’.


Lived in Hammersmith, London, with his wife, Eliza, two daughters, two sons, and a servant. Occupation recorded as ‘Professor of Painting’.


Lived in Hammersmith, London, with his wife, Eliza, son, extended family, and a servant. Occupation recorded as ‘Artist in Painting Landscape & Marine’.


Died in London.

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