John Varley was a British artist born in London in 1778. He was an English landscape painter mainly working in watercolour.
Varley was working at a time of transition and his work shows the transition from tinted drawing to the more fluid and bolder watercolour painting that took hold in the 19th century.
In 1798 he exhibited a highly regarded sketch of Peterborough Cathedral at the Royal Academy and became a regular exhibitor at the RA. In 1805 the Old Watercolour Society (OWS) was founded and as a founding member of the OWS Varley exhibited over 700 drawings there.
As well as being an artist, Valey was a teacher with pupils including Copley Fielding, David Cox, John Linnell and William Turner (artist) of Oxford.
He died in London in 1842.
Varley’s work is represented in many major museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum.
This image, part of Epping Forest District Museum’s collection, is one of a number of studies of the church made by the artist, showing the path along the south side of the church.