Theodore Henry Adolphus Fielding

Born 1781
Died 1851
Place of Birth Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire
Place of Death Croydon, Middlesex
Gender Male
Biographical Notes Tentative attribution of engravings from The Scientific Tourist through Ireland to this artist based on signature ‘T. Fielding sc.’ and on comparison with his known work.

Theodore Fielding (1781–1851), watercolour painter, engraver, and author, was a member of an influential family of artists who originated in Yorkshire. He was the eldest son of the painter Nathan Theodore Fielding (1746/7–1819), his brothers were A.V. Copley Fielding (1787-1855), Thales A.V. Fielding (1793-1837), Felix F.F.R. Fielding (ca.1784-1853) and Newton S.L. Fielding (1799-1856). He married another artist, Mary Anne Walton, in 1819. One of his early publications, A Picturesque Tour of the English Lakes featured his engravings from drawings by himself and his brother-in-law James Walton. He also published aquatints in Picturesque Illustrations of the River Wye (1821), and Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancashire Illustrated (1822).
Fielding and his brothers Thales and Newton worked in Paris with J.F. Ostervald, and set up a studio in the artistic heartland of the city, initially on the place Dauphine, then on the rue Jacob. In this period Theodore contributed engravings to Ostervald's Voyage pittoresque en Sicile (1822) and Excursions sur les côtes et dans les ports de Normandie (1823-25). He returned to London in late 1823 and from then on concentrated on teaching and engraving. Shortly after, he contributed 48 aquatints to Benjamin Barker’s Landscape Scenery (1824). Through his engraving business and his teaching he became a significant figure in the formation of young artists, among them his apprentice-pupils John William Edge, William Callow and Charles Bentley. In 1826 he was appointed teacher of drawing and perspective at the East India Company's Military College, Addiscombe. Among his theoretical and practical publications linked to this activity, the best known is The Art of Engraving, with the Various Modes of Operation (1844), where it is stated that he was by then 'teacher of painting in water colours' to the EIC's senior cadets. This volume is still considered to be a useful reference work.

Sources:

Benezit Dictionary of British graphic artists and illustrators, vol. 1 (Oxford University Press, 2012), sub nomine.

Rodney K. Engen, Dictionary of Victorian engravers, print publishers and their works (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1979).

Huon Mallalieu, ‘Fielding, Theodore Henry Adolphus’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), online, https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/9407. Accessed 17.1.2018.

Marcia R. Pointon, The Bonington circle: English watercolour and Anglo-French landscape, 1790-1855 (Brighton, Sussex: Hendon Press, 1985).

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