Sunday, April 25, 2021

Elizabeth Thompson (1846-1933)

Elizabeth Thompson Butler was that war artist. She was born at the Villa Claremont in Lausanne, Switzerland on November 3 1846. Her mother was a watercolor painter, and her father dedicated much of his energy and wealth to her education and that of her sister, the poetess Alice Meynell.

Having been given a thorough education in history, Elizabeth Thompson’s talents developed into a passion for military art, and in 1862, she joined what her father called the “tremendous ruck” of oil-painters with the intention of “singling herself out of it”.

She was one of the most successful English painters of military subjects in the 19th century, who brought a new realism to the depiction of war in British art.

At a young age, she demonstrated a keen skill at military figure painting and was strongly influenced by French military painters such as the famed battle artists Eugene Delacroix and Ernest Meissonier. She was deeply passionate about the exploits of British forces and leadership during the campaigns against Napoleon Bonaparte, especially the British victory at Waterloo.

The Roll Call (purchased by Queen Victoria), The Defence of Rorke's Drift, and Scotland Forever! showing the Scots Greys at Waterloo (Leeds Art Gallery), are among her notable works.
Elizabeth Thompson (1846-1933)

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