Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, the artist studied at the Slade School under Professor Legros, who taught him the medium of etching, and where he became a friend of William Strang, the artist. He then worked for six months in 1885 with the Newlyn colony of artists before spending two influential years in Italy. The first painting that he sent to the RA, Painting the Sail, was executed in Newlyn, and in the same year he was elected a fellow of the Society of Painter-Etchers, to which he had become a regular exhibitor. Though he continued to submit paintings to the RA for another decade, his primary interest and focus was on etchings.
Returning to the Slade, he became assistant-Master with special concentration on etching, for which outstanding abilities and sensitivity he became chiefly known. In 1897 he became the first keeper of the National Gallery of British Art (Tate), and in 1903 he was knighted.
In 1906, following the retirement of Sir Edward Poynter, he became Director of the Tate Gallery.
Painter and etcher
works and access
Works include: San Pietro in Castello; Venice; Giogione at Asolo; The Prodigal Son (1887), The Flight into Egypt (c1899), The Icarus Series (1895-1902)
In Cornwall: Penlee House (Portrait of a Lady)
Society of Painter-Etchers 1885ff
Art Workers' Guild 1898 (member), 1905 (master)
misc further info
Dictionary of National Biography (2004) (etched portrait by Alphonse Legros)
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and Cornwall;