Sir George CLAUSEN

Born in London, the son of a Danish painter and sculptor, Clausen attended evening classes at the South Kensington Schools whilst training with a firm of decorators by day, and did not become a full time painter until 1871, when he acted as assistant to the painter Edwin Long.

In 1882, Clausen was painting in Quimperle at the same time as Stanhope FORBES, and like many others was much impressed by Bastien-Lepage, who he met and about whom he wrote. He was also much influenced by his work with the Hague School. In 1886, Clausen was one of the 'discontents' [fed-up with the fustiness and in-crowd at the RA] who, including several of the Newlyn colony, joined together to create the New English Art Club. The Chantrey Bequest purchased his work The Girl at the Gate (1889) for the Nation, marking the highpoint of Bastien-Lepage's influence upon him.

'A much younger [than Frederic LEIGHTON] but still eminent artist who is not of the Newlyn School sent 3 small pictures to the opening exhibition of NAG in 1895, two being works and studies of a boy and girl, charming, fresh, pure, as far removed as possible from conventional insipidity, and the third, Study of sky, an artists' picture, seemingly painted under the influence of Moré.' (Hardie 1995)

He expanded his repertoire, allowing for new influences and directions, continuing with rustic subjects but tackling larger scale work, murals and latterly moving strongly into watercolours. In the post-WWI poster art revival for the rejuvenation of the London Underground and railways, Clausen, along with Samuel John Lamorna BIRCH and Cayley ROBINSON, contributed designs and landscape art for advertising hoardings and other popular presentations. He became Master and Professor of Painting at the RA Schools.


Painter in oils and watercolours of rustic subjects, murals, landscapes

works and access

Likenesses of the artist: Portrait of the Artist (1882)

Works Include: The Hedger, Cookham Dean; Little Rose (1889); Harvesting the Sheaves (1902);  An Orchard in May (1883); Agnes Mary Webster (1882); Winter Work (1883 at Tate); The Shepherdess (1885); Ploughing (1889 at Aberdeen); The Girl at the Gate (1889; bought for the Nation)

Access to work: Aberdeen; Art Workers' Guild, London; Birmingham; Bradford; Brighton; Bristol; Bury; Cardiff; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; Guildhall, London; Hull University; Huddersfield; Imperial War Museum; Leeds (many); Lincoln; Walker Gallery, Liverpool; Whitworth Gallery, Manchester; Laing, Newcastle; Nottingham Castle Museum; Oldham; Preston; Rochdale; Salford; Stoke; Tate; V&A (many)

Cape Town; Cork; Forbes Magazine Collection, New York; Melbourne; War Museum, Ottawa; Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven


RA; SS; OW; NW; GG; NG and the provinces

NAG Opening 1895

RSW October 1920 (at the Pall Mall Galleries); 

RA Sir George Clausen, RA (Solo Exhibition) 1980

RA The Edwardians and After (Group) 1988

Bolton Painters and Peasants (Group) 2000


NEAC (Founding member)

ARA 1895

RA 1908

Senior RA 1927






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Chantrey Bequest list: Tate On-line;

Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery;  

            (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (with bibl)


Jenkins (2000) Painters and Peasants (Exhibition catalogue);

Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists;

Mallett’s Index;

Newton et al (2005) Painting at the Edge;

Pyms (1984) Rural and Urban Images (Exhibition catalogue);

RA (1988) The Edwardians and After (Exhibition catalogue);

The Studio (illus);

Wood (1995) Victorian Painters Vol 2 (b&w plate)

Wormleighton (1995) A Painter Laureate

Personal bibliography:

Bates (1895) ‘George Clausen, ARA’ Studio V:4

Laver (1925) Portraits in Oil and Vinegar (pp83-90, with self-portrait p85)

McConkey (1980) Sir George Clausen, RA 1852-1944 (Exhibition catalogue)

Skipwith (1980) ‘Sir George Clausen’ Connoisseur Jul (pp 180-5)

Stevenson (1890) ‘George Clausen’ Art Journal Oct (pp 289-94)