Biography

John Le Capelain, later known as Jean, (1812–1848) was a painter often claimed to have been born in Saint Helier, Jersey, the son of Samuel Le Capelain, a printer and lithographer, and Elizabeth Anne Pinckney, his English wife. He was actually born in London and baptised there two days after his parents married there. After returning to his father's native island, he followed his father's trade in lithography but abandoned it later in life. He also learned the art of painting, without any formal training. About 1832 he returned to London and practiced as water-colour painter. His technique gave his paintings a particularly misty and foggy effect. After Queen Victoria's visit to Jersey in 1846, a volume of drawings by Le Capelain of scenery of the island was presented to her as an official souvenir by the States of Jersey. This led to his receiving a commission from the queen to paint pictures of the Isle of Wight. While engaged on these he developed tuberculosis, of which he died in Jersey in 1848.

A view of Mont Orgueil by Le Capelain was used on the reverse of the 1976 Jersey £20 banknote.

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