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Wiliam Lionel Wyllie RA RBA RE RI NEAC (1851-1931)

William Lionel Wyllie, RA RBA RE RI NEAC (1851-1931)

The leading British marine artist of the late nineteenth century, William Lionel Wyllie captured the sea and shipping in a wide range of images from fresh watercolours of Northern France through etchings of the Thames to large- scale canvases of historically significant events.

William Lionel Wyllie was born in London on 5 July 1851, son of the painter William Morrison Wyllie. As a child, he lived at 67 Albany Street, close to Regent’s Park, and spent summers at Wimereux, on the French coast, where he began to sketch, encouraged by his father and his half-brother, Lionel Percy Smythe. He studied art at the Heatherley School of Fine Art (1865) and at the Royal Academy Schools (1866-69), where he won the Turner Medal in his final year. He also made a study of the history of shipbuilding to help him with his paintings. His notable influences include Henry Moore, Whistler and Turner, of whom he later wrote a study (1905).

Wyllie worked initially as a marine illustrator for The Graphic (1870-90), and from 1883 produced etchings for Robert Dunthorne of the Rembrandt Gallery.

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