American portrait, genre, and landscape painter, 1801-1846
The son of an English land agent who had emigrated to America in 1792, he studied under an itinerant drawing-master before moving to New York with his family in 1812. Two years later he obtained an apprenticeship with the city's leading portrait painter, John Wesley Jarvis, drawn to the artist not only for his skill but also for his collection of pictures, which at that time included Adolf Ulric Wertmuller's Danae and the Shower of Gold (1787; Stockholm, Nmus.). Inman worked closely with Jarvis, eventually accompanying him on his travels and serving more as a collaborator than an apprentice. Within this partnership Inman established a speciality in miniature painting. In 1823 he set up his own practice in New York and ceded miniature painting to his student and eventual partner Thomas Seir Cummings (1804-94).