John Thomas Serres was the eldest son and pupil of Dominic Serres (1722-1793). He became the master of Design at the Naval College in Chelsea. In 1790 he travelled on the Continent visiting both Frankfurt and Italy. In 1793 he succeeded his father as marine painting for the King and was at the same time an artist for the Admiralty. He exhibited in London at the Royal Academy and the British Institute between 1780 and 1825.
John Thomas Serres was ruined by his wife Olivia Serres and died in Debtors Prison.
His works can be found in museums in: Bristol; London, Victoria and Albert Museum and Manchester Gallery.