John Wilson Carmichael, a marine painter, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne about 1800. From constantly seeing so much shipping, he obtained at an early age great accuracy of drawing in this line of art, and among his earliest paintings produced a very fine picture, 'The Heroic Exploit of Admiral Collingwood at the Battle of Trafalgar,' which was placed in the Trinity House, Newcastle. His name first appears as an exhibitor in 1838, when he contributed an oil picture, 'Shipping in the bay of Naples,' to the Society of British Artists. He exhibited at the Royal Academy both in oil and water-colours, contributing among others, in 1841, 'The Conqueror towing the Africa off the Shoals of Trafalgar;' and, in 1843, 'The Arrival of the Royal Squadron.' He was the author of the series of 'English Coast Views from the Mouth of the Thames to the Frith of Forth.' He resided in his native town up to about 1845, when he removed to London, where he was already known as a skilful marine painter. At the commencement of the Russian war he proceeded on board one of her Majesty's ships to the Baltic; and on his return several of the sketches made by him during his absence were published as engravings in the 'Illustrated London News.' He afterwards removed to Scarborough, where he died in 1868.
He published 'The Art of Marine Painting in Water-Colours' in 1859, and 'The Art of Marine Painting in Oil-Colours' in 1864.
His daughter Annie married William Luson Thomas son of a shipbroker and a successful artist who, exasperated by the treatment of artists by The Illustrated London News, founded in 186The Graphic newspaper which had immense influence within the art world.