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John Henry Henshall RWS MAFA (1856-1928)

John Henry Henshall, RWS MAFA (1856-1928)

John Henry Henshall specialised in large-scale genre scenes in watercolour in an absorbing realistic mode. His favourite themes included the contrast of youth and old age, as in the present example.

John Henry Henshall was born in Manchester on 11 April 1856, the son of Benjamin Henshall, a pawnbroker and money lender. Initially studying at Manchester School of Art under William Jabez Muckley, he moved to London in March 1876 and took up a place at the National Art Training School. However, after just a term, he transferred to the Royal Academy Schools, on the recommendation of Edward Poynter. In 1880, the RA Schools awarded him a silver medal for a Painting of a Head from the Life.

Becoming a figure and portrait painter in oil and especially watercolour, Henshall produced often large-scale genre and historical scenes in a realist mode.

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