James Duffield Harding (1797 – 1863) was a topographer, watercolourist, teacher and lithographer. He was born in Deptford, England. He studied with Samuel Prout and the engraver Charles Pye. Harding preferred drawing to engraving and worked as a landscape artist from an early age, exhibiting at the Royal Academy at the tender age of 13/14 years. He was an extremely talented lithographer and produced folios of works by Stanfield, Roberts and Bonington, for Hullmandel.
He travelled to Italy, Normandy and the Rhine in the 1820s, 30s and 40s producing books of his excursions and also issued copy-books for amateur artists. Harding was admired by John Ruskin, his drawing pupil. Ruskin said that, next to Turner, Harding was “unquestionably the greatest master of foliage in Europe”.
Harding's work can also be found in the following publications: Lithographic Drawing Book, 1832; Art, or The Use of The Lead Pencil, 1834; Principles and Practices of Art, 1845; Lessons on Trees, 1852; Scotland Delineated, 1858; Views in Spain, 1824; Britton's Cathedrals, 1832-6; Sketches at Home and Abroad, 1836 and The Book of South Wales, 1861.