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Mortimer Menpes RBA RE RI ROI NEAC (1855-1938)

Mortimer Menpes, RBA RE RI ROI NEAC (1855-1938)

Gaining fame as a member of the circle of James McNeill Whistler, Australian-born Mortimer Menpes developed a style that tempered nineteenth-century realism with the bright, spare aesthetic of Japonisme. Equally skilled in watercolour, oil and etching, he exhibited widely and frequently, and became an active and popular member of many clubs and societies.

Mortimer Menpes was born in Port Adelaide, Australia, on 22 February 1855, the sixth of eight children of an English-born draper. He was privately educated at Adelaide Educational Institution, and while there received lessons in art, first from Charles Hill, and then from Wilton Hack. He also attended classes at Adelaide School of Design under John Hood.
In 1875, Menpes moved to London with members of his family and his fiancée, Rose Mary Grosse, the only child and heir of a wealthy Adelaide ironmonger and ship’s chandler. Still both minors, he and Rose married at All Soul’s Langham Place on 27 April 1875.

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