John George Brown (1831 – 1913) was a British citizen and an American painter born in Durham, England on November 11, 1831. Brown was one of the most successful genre painters of the late 19th century. He launching his artistic career with a painting entitled "His First Cigar". His paintings of cheery street urchins, vendors and shoeshine boys were quite popular with wealthy collectors. Many of Brown's paintings were reproduced in lithography and widely distributed with packaged teas. Brown's art is best characterized as British genre paintings adapted to American subjects. After turning to genre scenes of the street children of New York City in the 1860s, he soon became famous and wealthy. Brown copyrighted many of his paintings that were often reproduced commercially as chromolithographs or photographic reproductions. His Passing Show (1877) and Street Boys at Play (1900) are good examples of his popular talent. Brown's financial success allowed for him to paint country landscape paintings for pleasure.
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