George Jones (1786-1869)

George Jones (1786-1869) was a British painter, and Keeper of the Royal Academy, most famous for his paintings of military subjects. Jones was the only son of John Jones, a mezzotint engraver. He became a student at the Royal Academy in 1801 at the early age of 15, exhibiting his first work depicting a biblical scene in 1803. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy over the next eight years. In the early part of his career most of his paintings were portraits and literary genre subjects but he became known as 'Waterloo Jones' after joining the army as a British officer in the Napoleonic Wars. He used his military experience to paint numerous highly successful depictions of 'The Battle of Waterloo' including 1820; Royal Military Hospital, Chelsea. Jones subsequently specialised in battle scenes but he nevertheless continued to produce biblical and topographical subjects as well as more frivolous literary and historical scenes. After the war he resumed his art career, winning prizes and fame for his paintings of military engagements. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1822, a full member in 1824, becoming its librarian, and from 1840 to 1850 its keeper. He was the friend of Charles Turner, engraver, and of J. M. W. Turner, whose most loyal executor he became, writing a short memoir of him and painting pictures recording his gallery. He died in Park Square, Regent's Park on 19 September 1869.