Bentley, Joseph Clayton (DNB00)

BENTLEY, JOSEPH CLAYTON (1809–1851), line-engraver, was born at Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1809. He commenced life as a landscape-painter, but in 1832 he came to London and studied engraving under Robert Brandard. He did not, however, entirely abandon painting, but exhibited occasionally from 1833 onwards landscapes, chiefly views in Yorkshire, painted with a great freedom of hand and a nice feeling for colour, at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Society of British Artists, and the exhibitions of several provincial towns. Many of his plates were executed for the publications of Messrs. Fisher and Messrs. Virtue, and especially for the ‘Gems of European Art,’ for which he engraved ‘The Fountain,’ after Zuccarelli, and ‘A Sunny Day,’ after Cuyp, and for the ‘Art Journal.’ Some of his best works are those for the Vernon Gallery: ‘The Brook by the Way,’ after Gainsborough, ‘Lake Avernus,’ after Richard Wilson, ‘The Valley Farm,’ after Constable, ‘The Windmill,’ after John Linnell, ‘The Way to Church,’ after Creswick, and ‘The Wooden Bridge,’ the ‘Port of Leghorn,’ and ‘Sea-shore in Holland,’ after Sir Augustus W. Callcott. His style of engraving was not of the highest class, but he threw much artistic feeling into his works, and laboured so incessantly that he undermined a naturally weak constitution and brought on an illness which terminated his life at Sydenham on 9 Oct. 1851.

[Art Journal, 1851, p. 280. 1852. p. 15.]

R. E. G.