John Charlton was a painter of portraits, sporting scenes and military subjects.
Charlton studied at Newcastle School of Art and at South Kensington. He exhibited at the R.A. from 1870 until 1904. He was a member of the Society of British Artists, which, receiving a Royal Charter in 1887, that is, the Queen's Jubilee Year, became the Royal Society of British Artists. Whistler, who was the Society's President from June 1886 to June 1888, was responsible for this. It was he who sent a Memorial to Queen Victoria requesting that the Society of British Artists be called 'Imperial'. This was then amended to read 'Royal'. Unfortunately Charlton was unable to attend the meeting on 5 September 1887 at which the Memorial was shown to the Society (#00592).
Charlton was also affiliated to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Royal Institute of Painters in Oil-Colours, and was a member of the Arts Club from 1887 until 1917. His painting God Save the Queen (R.A. 1899) was commissioned by Queen Victoria and shows her arriving at St Paul's for her Diamond Jubilee Service. His studio at 22 Cromwell Road West, which was built c. 1875, was also used by Hugh Cameron, E. A.Walton, the Beggarstaff Brothers and Rudolf Lehmann.
Wood, Christopher, Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge, 1971; Walkley, Giles, Artists' houses in London 1764-1914, Aldershot, 1994;.