Raven, John Samuel (DNB00)

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RAVEN, JOHN SAMUEL (1829–1877), landscape-painter, born on 21 Aug. 1829 at Preston, Lancashire, was a son of Thomas Raven, minister of Holy Trinity Church in that town, and himself a clever watercolour painter, examples of whose skill are in the South Kensington Museum. The son received no professional training, but formed his first style by studying the works of Crome and Constable, and from 1849 was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and British Institution, chiefly of views in the vicinity of St. Leonards, where he resided until 1856. The ‘pre-Raphaelite’ movement strongly influenced Raven, producing a complete change in his aim and method, and his later works are characterised by great elaboration of detail, an original and striking scheme of colour, and strong poetic feeling. His best pictures of this class are ‘Midsummer, Moonlight, Dew Rising,’ 1866; ‘Lago Maggiore from Stresa,’ 1871; ‘Fresh fallen Snow on the Matterhorn,’ 1872; ‘The lesser Light to rule the Night,’ 1873; ‘Twilight in the Wood’ (engraved by C. Cousen for the ‘Art Journal,’ 1874); ‘The Heavens declare the Glory of God,’ 1875; and his last exhibited work, ‘Barff—Lord's Seat from the Slopes of Skiddaw,’ 1877. He was drowned while bathing at Harlech in North Wales, being seized with paralysis of the heart, on 13 June 1877. Raven worked chiefly in oils, but occasionally also in water-colours, and executed many fine studies in black and white. He married, in 1869, Margaret Sinclair Dunbar, now Mrs. William B. Morris. An exhibition of Raven's collected works was held at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1878.

[Burlington Fine Arts Club Catalogue; Athenæum, 21 July 1877; Art Journal, 1877; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; information from Mrs. Morris.]

F. M. O'D.