John William Inchbold was a landscape painter who, under the strong influence of John Ruskin, produced several Pre-Raphaelite paintings. He was born in Leeds, the son of a Yorkshire newspaper owner, and trained as a lithographer. He then studied painting at the Royal Academy Schools. He knew Ruskin from 1854, travelling with him to Switzerland in 1856 and 1858. While in the Alps he met John Brett, also under the influence of Ruskin. His first picture at the Royal Academy Exhibition was Study from Nature, Evening (1857). He had some 30 pictures at the Academy, and Ruskin often singled them out for special note and praise, although he disapproved of much of Inchbold's later works. Inchbold painted in Italy, France, Spain, North Africa and Switzerland as well as in England, and in addition to painting and etching, also wrote poetry, publishing a volume of his poems in 1877.
Inchbold's Pre-Raphaelite painting In Early Spring, showing a photographically precise scene with sheep and oak trees, is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, which also holds The Cuillin Ridge, Skye. Gordale Scar (c.1875-6) and The Moorland (1855) are in the Tate Gallery. Anstey's Cove, Devon (1853-4) is at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Various foreign landscapes are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Leeds City Art Gallery. The latter gallery also holds the important White Doe at Rylestone (1855).