Joseph Edward Southall was born in Nottingham on 23rd August 1861, the son of a grocer, Joseph Sturge Southall, and his wife Elizabeth Maria Baker, both from distinguished Quaker families. The elder Joseph died the following year, aged only twenty-seven, and his widow and baby moved to her mother's house in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

 He attended the Friends' School at Ackworth and in 1872 the Friends' School at Bootham, York, where he was taught watercolour painting by Edwin MOORE, a brother of the marine painter Henry MOORE and the even better known Albert MOORE, whose stylish arrangements of classically-draped young women came to epitomise the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s.

He travelled widely, working in Europe in many countries, and exhibiting even more widely.  Henry PAYNE and Charles GERE, fellow members of the Birmingham Group, also painted murals for the Hall of Heroes. The interwar years were calmer, with a regular pattern of spring or autumn travels to France and Italy, interspersed with sojourns at Southwold in Suffolk, where they went every July, and on the Fowey Estuary in Cornwall.

His body of work is large and recounted in detail on the Victorian Web (website).


Painter of landscapes, historical and mythological scenes, often in watercolour

works and access

Likenesses of the artist: tempera self-portrait Man with a Sable Brush (1897)

Works include: Beauty Seeing the Image of her Home in the Fountain (1897); The Coral Necklace (1895); The Dish of Fruit (1922/1941); The White Barque at Fowey (1943)


Widely exhibited in Britain, France, Italy, Belgium and the United States.

New Gallery 1897; Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society; Leighton House, Modern Paintings in Tempera; Birmingham Group show at The Fine Art Society 1907; Galeries Georges Petit, Paris One-man Exhibition 1910; RA Arts and Crafts Exhibition 1916;  Alpine Gallery, London; Leicester Gallery, London; Ruskin Galleries in Birmingham; Royal Birmingham Society of Artists; Royal Academy; Paris Salon; RA Summer Exhibition 1931


RBSA; NEAC; RWS; The Art Workers Guild; Union Internationale des Beaux-Arts et des Lettres


King (2005) Newlyn Flowers (ill)

Breeze (2004) Joseph Southall in Dictionary of National Biography

Breeze, Skipwith and Sprague (2005) Sixty Works by Joseph Southall 1861-1944

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p347)

Leicester Galleries (website)

Skipwith "Peace, Politics and Painting" Country Life (30 Jan 1992)

South 'Graphic Arts' ( p142)

Wood Victorian Painters (ill, bibl)