JOHN CANTILOE JOY
1805 – 1867
Royal Navy shipping in the Channel
Framed size: 21 x 28 inches / 53.3 x 71.1 cm
Stock number: 099735/0818
John Cantiloe Joy, a marine painter, was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. His older brother, William Joy, also a marine painter, was also born in Great Yarmouth; they were known as the brothers Joy in the nineteenth-century art world. Their mother’s maiden name was Cantiloe, and their father was for many years guard on the Great Yarmouth to Ipswich mail coach. They both showed an early talent for drawing, and while attending Mr Wright’s Southtown Academy in Great Yarmouth made sketches of the school which were engraved. Recognizing their potential, the barrack-master, Captain G. W. Manby, gave them the use of a room overlooking the sea in the Royal Hospital at Great Yarmouth; here they practised drawing and painting the sea and shipping from life.
About 1830 the brothers Joy moved to the south of England, under the patronage of the earl of Abergavenny, and, while living in London, studied the work of established painters. They gained a considerable reputation and received commissions from naval patrons such as Admiral Sir Charles Cunningham and Sir Jaheel Brenton. Although they often worked together on the same composition, they also produced individual works. Both exhibited, but not regularly, William at the Royal Academy in 1824 and 1832 and the British Institution in 1823 and 1845, and both at the Suffolk Street Gallery. Unusual among their works is an early collaborative watercolour, King George IV Passing Great Ormesby, Yarmouth, on his Return from Edinburgh, 1822 (V&A). A contemporary commented that ‘they greatly excelled in depicting water in motion, they put their vessels well upon it and were accurate in the display of sails and rigging’ (Palmer). Examples of their work can be found in a number of national and regional collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and the Maritime Museum for East Anglia, Great Yarmouth.
The brothers Joy spent their later years working in Chichester, Sussex.