John Cleveley the younger was the son of marine painter John Cleveley the Elder and the twin brother of Robert Cleveley, also a marine painter. John and Robert were born at Deptford and John was apprenticed to his father, then a shipwright, at an early age. He was later taught to paint in watercolour by Paul Sandby and in oils by his father. Cleveley exhibited at the Free Society from 1767 and at the Royal Academy from 1770. He was appointed draughtsman to Joseph Bank’s expedition to Iceland in 1772 and exhibited two drawings of Iceland at the Royal Academy in the following year. In 1774, he moved from Deptford to Brewer Street, Golden Square. The following year he travelled to Lisbon, Portugal. Cleveley died in London at the age of 38.
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