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Charles Bentley Detailed Biography

Charles Bentley was born in 1805 or 1806. He was known for his watercolor paintings. Bentley was born to a master carpenter and builder living in London. He was associated with art at a young age.

He worked with coloring prints for Theodore Fielding with who he apprenticed after a few years in order to learn aquatinting. Bentley through Fielding became close friends with William Callow.

Christmas Cataract by Charles Bentley
Christmas Cataract by Charles Bentley

Bentley’s paintings consisted of British scenes with them being set in Jersey, Ireland, and Normandy. His work also included scenery of Venice, Dusseldorf, and Holland.

Charles Bentley Artwork

However, it is not positive that he visited these place or painted them from photographs and sketches of other people. For example, His paintings of Trebizond and Abydos were based on the drawings by Coke Smythe.

Charles Bentley Painting

Fielding went to France during his apprenticeship to assist on work for the plates for the paintings Excursion Sur Les Cotes et Dans Les Ports de Normandie’ (1823-1825). These were said to be watercolors for Richard Bonington.

Bentley started to paint watercolors at the end of his apprenticeship along with painting, he earned some extra money through engraving and designing plates for periodical magazines.

Charles Bentley Biography

Four of his paintings were exhibited at the first Exhibition of the New Society of Painters in Water-Colours in 1832. This was later called the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours. Next year, six of his paintings were shown.

St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, by C. Bentley

In 1834, Bentley was elected as an Associate-Exhibitor of the Old Water-Colour Society. In 1838, he moved to Hampstead Road in London and remained there for the rest of his life.

Bentley’s Paintings

Bentley’s paintings which were exhibited included From the Red Rover, depicting a naval battle, and From Tom Cringle’s Log. By this time, he became an elite member of the watercolor painters in England.

He exhibited at the British Institution for the first time in 1843 and then went on to become a full-time member of the ‘Old Society’.

Charles Bentley
A Dutch Fishing Vessel in choppy waters with other shipping off the Coast watercolor, 1806-1854

This is evidence of his growing stature as a painter in the English society. His illustrations for12 Views in the Interior of Guiana was published by Rudolph Ackermann 1841.

The illustrations were based on his studies done on trips to South America by John Morison. Bentley was not financially strung and died of cholera in 1854. He was survived by his wife.

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