John Clarke Isaac UREN

John Clarke Isaac UREN

Born in Truro on May 10, 1845 (GRO), Bednar has noted a painting by the artist with a Newlyn title in 1872, Early Morning - Newlyn;  and again in 1878 he was exhibiting at the RCPS with two Newlyn Courtyard scenes.

Uren (also seen written as U'REN) was an artist working primarily on seascapes and coastal studies of Devon and Cornwall. He had also worked at Lamorna before the colony of painters was established there.  Until the 1890s he lived at Penzance but moved on to Plymouth just before the end of the century, continuing to paint in Cornwall.

His marriage to Eliza Catherine Mollard aka Cate took place at Madron in 1876. In the 1891 Census they are living at The Willows, Cornwall Terrace, Penzance.  He and his wife were parents to ten children, five girls and five boys, all of whom were born in Penzance, with the exception of the youngest who was born in Plymouth (1899). 

At the Opening Exhibition of NAG (1895) he was well represented with watercolours of Cornish coastal scenery. 

There is some confusion as to the signature and identification of the J C Uren paintings, and even to his name.  A correspondent (2012) suggests, after extensive research, that John Clarke Isaac Uren may also be the same person as John Clarkson Uren (sometimes written as John Clarksen U'ren with the same dates). Whether or not this is one artist, or perhaps two, is currently unknown. Uren is a peculiarly Cornish surname, and as we have often found, a leaning towards arts occupations tends to run in families.  There is a John Uren born in about 1883 to the JCI Uren family, who might also be an artist waiting to be found.

In 1911, Whybrow notes that he was turned down for membership in the St Ives Arts Club, because by that time he was practising as the Borough Surveyor. It is not known as yet when they returned to Cornwall, which is where the artist died on 14 March, 1932, age 86, in Penzance.


Painter in watercolour of marine and landscape subjects

works and access

Works include: Early Morning - Newlyn (1845); Market Jew Street, Penzance (1876); Above the TideSt Michael's Mount and the Causeway 


RCPS (1) 1872; RBA (1) 1876; NAG Opening 1895; RA; RI


Bednar Every Corner was a Picture


Census1881, 1891

Green Artists at Home

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p289); 

Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn/Diary

Johnson & Greutzner

 Kellys Directory 1893

NAG Exhibition records (WCAA)

Tovey, David (2021) Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre - Volume One - Pre-1920, Wilson Books