Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Crome, John, known as "Old Crome," to distinguish him from his son, was born at Norwich in 1769, being the son of a weaver. He was early apprenticed to a house-painter, and his natural fondness for art led him to give up his leisure to sketching and the study of nature. Friendly help enabled him presently to start as a drawing-master, and accident fixed his attention on the Dutch school of landscapists. Under the patronage of Sir William Beechey. he formed in 1805 the Norwich Society of Artists, in which Cotman, Vincent, Stark, Thistle, and Bernay Crome took a part. He rarely visited London, and, though he began in 1806 to exhibit at the Royal Academy, few of his works were seen there. His aim was the faithful reproduction of the scenery in which he lived, and he attained high excellence in dealing with trees and foliage. Among his best known pictures, none of which commanded a high price until after his death, may be mentioned Mousehold Heath (now in the National Gallery), Oak at Poringland, The Willow, Coast Scene near Yarmouth, Bruges, and The Fishmarket at Boulogne. He was successful also as an etcher, and his Norfolk Picturesque Scenery, posthumously published, possesses great merit. He died in 1821.