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John Clevely the Elder
1712 - 1777

John Clevely the Elder was born in London. As a young man, he worked as a carpenter in the Royal Dockyard at Deptford before turning to full-time painting. From 1747 to the mid-1750s, he produced a series of paintings of ship launches at Deptford. He also painted portraits of famous ships, particularly royal yachts.

He is included on this website because his almost photographic paintings present a clear picture of ship building in the early 18th century. This activity had changed little from the 17th century.