John Frederick Tennant was a painter of genre, landscape and coastal scenes. Tennant was mostly self-taught but he did receive a little tuition from William Anderson. His works are characterised by their beautiful soft light and subtle colouring.
His early career was spent painting historical genre scenes. These subjects were mainly taken from the work of Walter Scott. However, it was when he started painting landscapes that his career flourished.
He exhibited widely in his lifetime and was one of the sixteen the founding members of the Society of British Artists. He exhibited numerous works at the Suffolk Street galleries of the Royal Society of British Artists and was elected a member in 1842. He also exhibited a number of works between 1820 and 1867 at the Royal Academy.
He lived for a long time in Devon and Wales before moving to Bexley Heath in Kent.