Joseph Farington (1747-1821)
Joseph Farington was a topographical artist and diarist at the turn
of the century and an important figure in the discovery of the
Lake District by leading painters.
Having already spent a great deal of time in the Lakes Farington went on to study, at the age of 16, under Richard Wilson, one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London.
In the late 1770s Farington returned to the North, spending time with such notable artists as Beaumont and Hearne during 1777 and 1778 and continuing to work, primarily in the Lake District, until 1781.
Between 1793 and 1821, Farington kept a diary; noting down valuable information regarding his contemporary artists and the art world during this period.
He was to become one of the most notable English topographers of the 18th and early 19th centuries. His large scale prints published in the 1780s were considered topographically accurate and were sold in large quantities at Peter Crosthwaite’s museum.
Farington’s Views of the Lakes was produced in direct response to the demands of tourism and, as Bicknell, in his bibliography, notes, “Farington was the first artist systematically to record the scenery of the Lake District with a view to publishing prints”.