Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bowler, Thomas William

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BOWLER, THOMAS WILLIAM (d. 1869), landscape painter, was born in the Vale of Aylesbury. His general talent was noticed by Dr. Lee, F.R.S., who obtained for him the office of assistant-astronomer under Sir T. Maclear at the Cape. After four years, he resigned his post at the observatory, and established himself successfully in Cape Town as an artist and teacher of drawing. He painted a panorama of the district, and published, in 1844, 'Four Views of Cape Town;' in 1854, 'South African Sketches,' a series of ten lithographs of scenes at the Cape of Good Hope; and in 1865, 'The Kafir Wars,' a series of twenty views, with descriptive letterpress by W. R. Thomson. In 1857 he exhibited at the rooms of the Society of British Artists a drawing of the Royal Observatory, Cape Town; and in 1860, at the Royal Academy, two views of Cape scenery. In 1866 he visited Mauritius and made a number of drawings, but a fever there permanently weakened his health, and coming to England he died from an attack of bronchitis, 24 Oct. 1869.

His lithographs are somewhat in the style of Harding, and show facility in handling the chalk and some power of composition.

[Cat. Brit. Mus. Lib.; Cat. Royal Academy; Cat. Soc. Brit. Artists; Art Journal, April 1870; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists (1878).]

W. H-h.