In straitened circumstances, Ibbetson moved in 1798 to Liverpool. From that year until his death he lived in the north, at Edinburgh, Rosslyn and the Lake District, finally settling at Masham, N. Yorks, in 1805. He married his second wife in 1799 and was unsuccessful as an ARA candidate the following year. Ibbetson's large Lake District oils show a sinuous handling of line that has more in common with 17th-century Dutch paintings than the sparer compositions of Romantic art. Ibbetson's finest achievement is in his highly individual watercolours: blue-toned and delicate, they are characterised by astutely balanced elements of landscape, atmosphere and human incident. His eldest son, Julius Caesar Ibbetson the younger (1783–1825), was a drawing-master and innkeeper at Richmond, N. Yorks.
Waterhouse: 18th C.
B. L. K. Henderson: Morland and Ibbetson (London, 1923)
——: Julius Caesar Ibbetson (London, 1948)
——: ‘Ibbetson in the East Indies', Country Life, cx (14 Dec 1951), p. 203
Julius Caesar Ibbetson, 1759–1817 (exh. cat., London, Kenwood House, 1957)
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