John Callow was born in London, the son of a carpenter. In 1835 became a pupil of his brother, watercolourist William Callow (already an established artist), in Paris. John began his studies by copying works at the Louvre. He returned to London in 1843/44 and exhibited at several institutions: most frequently at the Society of Painters in Water Colours. He also made illustrations for school books by Irish educationist Vere Foster. In 1855, he became a professor of drawing at Addiscombe College. After its’ closure in 1861 he was appointed a landscape drawing master at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and in 1875 he accepted a position at Queen’s College, London. Callow died at the age of 55, at his home in Lewisham High Road, Deptford.
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