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Rex Whistler (1905-1944)

Rex Whistler (1905-1944)

Rex Whistler made his name in 1927 with In Pursuit of Rare Meats, the mural decoration for the new refreshment room at the Tate Gallery. He had a genius for pastiche, and echoes of eighteenth- century elegance haunt these murals as they do so much of his work as a painter, decorator, designer and illustrator. However, the vein of more earthy contemporary humour, apparent in his advertisements for Shell Mex and elsewhere, should not be underestimated.

Rex Whistler was born in Eltham, Kent, on 24 June 1905. He was the son of an architect and estate agent, and elder brother of the writer and glass-engraver Laurence Whistler. Discovering his talent while still a very young child, he won prizes from the Royal Drawing Society every year from 1912 to 1923.

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