J.J. Hardwick was born in Bow, London in 1831 (the son of William Hardwick who came from Beverley in Yorkshire). He studied painting under various Royal Academicians and also attended the School of Art in Somerset House, winning a first prize for a watercolour landscape. He worked on the staff of the Illustrated London News as an engraver in the 1850s, following his apprenticeship to the founder, Henry Vizetelly, in 1847.
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1860 and at the Suffolk Street and other galleries, becoming an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1882.
Apparently he was a friend of the well known art critic John Ruskin and assisted him with classes at the Working Men's College in Great Ormand Street. He appears to have moved to Thames Ditton in about 1880 and gave his hobby as "working in his garden" (see entry in "Who Was Who 1916-1928").
Hardwick's work is usually of flowers, often set on a mossy bank as in those of Hunt, Cruickshank and Clare (see works by the latter elsewhere on this web site). However he also did more original compositions as in the example above (a bowl of what are now called "old fashioned" roses before the modern hybrid varieties were developed).
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