A Still Life of Roses, Narcissi, Delphiniums and other Flowers in a glass Vase on a ledge

A Still Life of Roses, Narcissi, Delphiniums and other Flowers in a glass Vase on a ledge





English School

A Still Life of Roses, Narcissi, Delphiniums and other Flowers in a glass Vase on a ledge

Oil on canvas, signed 

45.7 x 38.2 cms

18 x 15 inches

Although born and bred in Norwich and a senior contemporary of John Crome, Sillett cannot really be counted as a member of the "Norwich School" despite being a member of the Norwich Society and even serving as its president in 1815.

He did his academic artistic training during a long apprenticeship at the Royal Academy schools between 1781 and 1790 and it is probably this separation from his roots that caused him to pursue a different method and technique from his earlier fellow painters.

James Sillett was a prolific producer of paintings with nearly 350 recorded works, although a considerable number have since been lost. His oeuvre was varied and included fruit, flowers, game, miniatures and landscapes. The early part of his professional career was taken up with ornamental and heraldic work and he also painted scenery for both Covent Garden and Drury Lane theatres. He progressed to still life and flower painting and continued to execute these almost exclusively until well into the nineteenth century. He lived in Covent Garden until his return to Norwich in 1803 moving soon after to King's Lynn before returning to Norwich in 1810 where he remained until his death in 1840. It was while he was in his native county that he started to produce landscapes, spurning the look of the local school and working more in the style of George Barret and Joseph Farington. The result was highly attractive and accomplished paintings. although he never exhibited this subject matter outside Norfolk.

Sillett exhibited 49 times at the principal London exhibitions with 43 at the Royal Academy which included titles such as "An Auricula", "Snake, thistle and insects", "Hen and chickens alarmed by a hawk" and "The red grouse or moorcock" in addition to the abundance of still lifes of fruit and flowers.


The Dictionary British Eighteenth Century Painters, Ellis Waterhouse

British Landscape Painters, MH Grant

Dictionary of British Bird Painters, Frank Lewis


1764 - 1840


Oil on canvas