Clarkson Stanfield, RA (1793-1867)
As a young boy, Clarkson was apprenticed to a Heraldic painter in Edinburgh, but after two years he left and went to sea in a merchant ship at the age of fifteen (1808). In 1812, he was pressed into the navy. During his time in the navy he used the alias "Roderick Bland". After an accident, (a fall from the rigging of the ship) left him unfit for service he was discharged from the Navy in December, 1814. In 1815 he sailed on the merchant ship Warley for China. He returned a year later. He was supposed to set sail on another merchant ship but it never sailed. In need of work, he started on a new career of theatre scene painter in east London. Clarkson had done painting throughout his naval career, doing up theatre scenes for some naval productions as well as some painting and sketches. Now, in mid-1816, this became his sole work. In 1834 he gave up scene painting & began concentrating on easel pictures. He was commiissioned by William IV to paint "The Opening of New London Bridge" & "Portsmouth Harbour" He exhibited at the RA, BI & elsewhere.
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