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Telephone: 0131 226 6932 or 0845 388 5879
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland

Biography and current catalogue for

John Heaviside Clark (1771-1863) 

John Heaviside Clark is thought to have been born in Scotland around 1771. He was a well-known engraver, landscape and seascape painter and miniaturist. He worked and lived in London between 1802 and 1832. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1812 and 1832 with a selection of maritime and landscape subjects. He was the author of ‘A practical essay on the Art of Colouring and Painting Landscapes’, with illustrations, published in 1807, and ‘A practical Illustration of Gilpin's Day’, with thirty colour plates, based on monochrome studies representing different times of day by William Gilpin, in 1824.

But Clark is best known for his engravings of Scottish towns and cities, historically important for their accurate attention to detail and aesthetically pleasing for their uncluttered clear depiction of space. In these scenes quite often trees adorn the foreground, while a group of elegant ladies and gentlemen add a lively touch to the softened scene. Three of the finest aquatints in Sir John Carr’s ‘Caledonian Sketches’ were ‘Clark’s View of the Old Town, Taken from Clarke’s Circulating Library, South Street Andrew Street’, 1812, ‘View of the Old Town, Taken From Princes Street’, 1814 and ‘City of Edinburgh’, 1824.

He is also famous for his sketches of the battlefield of Waterloo, later published as coloured engravings. These gave rise to his nickname ‘Waterloo Clark’.

Clark published several books on painting including Instructions on the art of miniature painting incorporated in his ‘Elements of Drawing and Painting, 1851’. During his lifetime he often collaborated with Matthew Dubourg and British publisher Edward Orme and Thomas McLean. Sebastian Pether and Thomas Rowlandson were good friends of his.

He would often sign his work simply ‘Clark’. John Clark died in Edinburgh October 1863.