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Self-portrait of John Bradley. [1]

John Bradley (1787 – 1844) was a British painter from Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was a founder-member of the Keighley Mechanics Institute and was engaged as a drawing-master for the Brontë children in 1829–30.[1][2]

He should not be confused with John Bradley, a British artist active in the New York area in the 1830s and 1840s, or John Bradley of Pall Mall, London (1786-1843), a printmaker and portraitist.[3]

Life and careerEdit

John Bradley was a native of Keighley, a town in Yorkshire some 4 miles (6.4 km) north east of Haworth where the Brontës had settled into the parsonage by 1820. Bradley worked as a house and sign painter, "but he preferred to call himself an artist".[2] His work was exhibited at events sponsored by the Royal Northern Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in the 1820s.[4][5]

In 1825, Bradley was one of four Keighley tradesmen who founded the Keighley Mechanics Institute. He was its first secretary and became vice-president in 1831.[6]

The Reverend Patrick Brontë, a member of the Institute's library, engaged Bradley as drawing-master for his children Charlotte, Emily, Anne and their brother Branwell in the years 1829–1830.[2] Bradley is likely to have encouraged Branwell in his enthusiasm for oil painting and architecture.[7]

Bradley emigrated to the United States in July 1831 to pursue a career as a portrait painter in Philadelphia, but the venture was not a success. He returned to Keighley in 1833 and resumed his position in the Mechanics' Institute.[2][5] He was the architect of a new home for the Institute, which was opened on 29 December 1834. The building later housed the Yorkshire Bank, and was demolished in 1968.[6] Bradley died in 1844.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Alexander, Christine; Sellars, Jane (1995). The Art of the Brontës. Cambridge University Press. p. 23. ISBN 9780521438414. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Alexander, Christine; Smith, Margaret. "Oxford Companion to the Brontës - Oxford Reference, 'John Bradley'". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  3. ^ See discussion of the various John Bradleys at ArtUK - Art Detective
  4. ^ Alexander, Christine; Sellars, Jane (1995). The Art of the Brontës. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780521438414. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b Glen, Heather (5 December 2002). The Cambridge Companion to the Brontës. Cambridge University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780521779715. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Alexander, Christine; Smith, Margaret. "Oxford Companion to the Brontës - Oxford Reference, 'Keighley Mechanics Institute'". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  7. ^ Alexander, Christine; Sellars, Jane (1995). The Art of the Brontës. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23–24, 33. ISBN 9780521438414. Retrieved 10 February 2017.

External linksEdit