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 John Izard Middleton  (1785 - 1849)

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Lived/Active: South Carolina / Europe      Known for: archeo-topographic landscape

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Travelers on the via Valeria and the Tomb of Plautii - circa 1825
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born just outside Charleston, South Carolina, he lived in the family home called Middleton Place, which was a center of 18th century wealth, culture, and intellectual activity. Although his roots remained deep in South Carolina, he spent the better part of his adult life in Europe and was particularly fascinated with the ruins and buildings of Italy. He recorded his observations and created hand colored aquatints for a book titled "Grecian Remains in Italy," published 1812 in London. Charles Eliot Norton, Harvard University's first instructor in fine arts was so admiring of Middleton's efforts that he called him "the first American classical archaeologist" ("Magazine Antiques" 11/98).

Middleton made aristocratic connections in European society including Madame de Stael, writer and critic, and artist Benjamin Constant. In 1810, Middleton returned to South Carolina with his bride, Eliza Falconnet, and when his mother died in 1814, he became independently wealthy.Shortly after their only child died, and the Middletons returned to Europe in 1816 and, living in Paris and Rome, never came back to the United States.

In September 1999, the Gibbes Museum in Charleston had a special exhibition of his Italy drawings between 1820 and 1823.

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