CHAMBERS, GEORGE (1803–1840), English marine painter, born at Whitby, Yorkshire, was the son of a seaman, and for several years he pursued his father’s calling. While at sea he was in the habit of sketching the different classes of vessels. His master, observing this, gratified him by cancelling his indentures, and thus set him free to follow his natural bent. Chambers then apprenticed himself to an old woman who kept a painter’s shop in Whitby, and began by house-painting. He also took lessons of a drawing-master, and found a ready sale for small and cheap pictures of shipping. Coming afterwards to London, he was employed by Thomas Horner to assist in painting the great panorama of London for the Colosseum (the exhibition building in Regent’s Park, demolished towards 1860), and he next became scene-painter at the Pavilion theatre. In 1834 he was elected an associate, and in 1836 a full member, of the Water-colour Society. His best works represent naval battles. Two of these—the “Bombardment of Algiers in 1816,” and the “Capture of Porto Bello”—are in Greenwich hospital. Not long before his death he was introduced to William IV., and his professional prospects brightened; but his constitution, always frail, gave way, and he died on the 28th of October 1840.
A Life, by John Watkins, was published in 1841.