John Wilson Anderson (1798 – 1851) was born in Halifax, but his family moved to Bingley when he was a child. John, as was common then with many working class young men with artistic talent, was apprenticed as a painter and decorator.
When John had served his apprenticeship he set up his own business in Ivegate, Bradford. His artistic talent was well-regarded locally, and in addition to house decorating, he applied his art to scene painting for the Smedley and Skerrits Patent Theatre in Peel Square, Bradford, and painted still life and local landscape scenes that were exhibited and sold in local shops.
One of his most important works shows an oil painting of Bradford in 1825 that he later reproduced as an engraving and sold at a local bookshop. This painting, shown below, now in the ownership of the Bradford Museums and Galleries service, of is one of the earliest views of the growing city and the surrounding countryside.
Anderson is remembered by Butler Wood, a local historian, in his memoir: ‘Some Old Bradford Artists’, as “an easy-going character … never doing today what could be put off ’till tomorrow.