Though George Henry Boughton was born in Norwich, England in 1833 and lived in London for the second half of his life, his formative years as a self-taught artist began in Albany NY, where his family settled in the 1830’s.
By age of 19, he was a landscape painter of note and opened his first studio in 1852. The American Art-Union purchased one of his early pictures. This institution encouraged him by exhibiting his work and enabling him to study in England for six months.
In 1857, George Henry Boughton exhibited at the Washington Art Association and from 1859 to 1860, he worked in NYC. In 1860, he traveled to Paris where he studied under Pierre Edouard Frère and Edouard May. The French influences were subsequently reflected in his style.
George Henry Boughton established a studio in London in 1861. Though now living in England, he focused on subjects of American Colonial history. If ever there were a painter who could tell a story with genuine sentiment, using soft tones and colors, it was George Henry Boughton. A London critic once declared that he « has learnt the secret of putting natural feelings into rustic figures, which has been almost entirely wanting to English painters ». The New England history of the puritans became the subject of his most famous painting : « Pilgrims going to Church » completed in 1857, now at the New York Historical society.
Quite an accomplished painter, his artwork was exhibited at the greatest Academies of which he was also a member.
George Henry Boughton continued his career in England until his death at Campden Hill in 1905. His arwort is now represented in museums both in the US and England.