Isaac Walter Jenner was born in Godalming, Surrey on March 8th, 1836. He went to sea in oyster and crab smacks as a boy and joined the Royal Navy in 1854, serving throughout the Crimean War. He left the Navy in 1865, settled in Brighton and began his career as a marine artist recording his experiences at sea. He also painted landscapes and coastal scenes, notably of British, Mediterranean and later, Australian locations.
In 1883 he emigrated to Australia where he continued his career from his studio in Taringa. He was very active in promoting the cultural development of Queensland and was one of the founder members of the Queensland Art Society, founded as a result of his petitioning of the Queensland government to build a public gallery. Jenner remained in Australia until his death in 1902.
While in Australia, Jenner continued to paint British scenes, either from memory or from sketches that he emigrated with. An exhibition of his works at the Queensland Art Society in 1889 included many oil paintings and watercolours of English coastal scenes.