John Frederick Tennant, 1796 _ 1872
The Lion Rock, Cheddar Gorge
The Lion Rock, Cheddar Gorge
1st April 1868

signed " J. Tennant and dated 1868 " lr and titked verso

oil on board
40.64 x 61 cm. (16 x 24 in.)


The upright outcrop apparently inscribed  is the Lion Rock, so named since its south face resembles that animal’s features, this famous geological anomoly was drawn and painted by a number of artists from the nineteenth century including Turner. 

Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, SomersetEngland. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, where Britain's oldest complete human skeletonCheddar Man, estimated to be over 9,000 years old, was found in 1903. Older remains from the Upper Late Palaeolithic era (12,000–13,000 years ago) have been found. The caves, produced by the activity of an underground river, contain stalactites and stalagmites. The gorge is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest calledCheddar Complex.


Artist biography

John Frederick Tennant was a painter of genre, landscape and coastal scenes. Tennant was mostly self-taught but he did receive a little tuition from William Anderson. His works are characterised by their beautiful soft light and subtle colouring. 

His early career was spent painting historical genre scenes. These subjects were mainly taken from the work of Walter Scott. However, it was when he started painting landscapes that his career flourished.  

He exhibited widely in his lifetime and was one of the sixteen the founding members of the Society of British Artists. He exhibited numerous works at the Suffolk Street galleries of the Royal Society of British Artists and was elected a member in 1842. He also exhibited a number of works between 1820 and 1867 at the Royal Academy. 

He lived for a long time in Devon and Wales before moving to Bexley Heath in Kent.