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William Dring RA RWS RP (1904-1990)

Dennis William Dring, RA RWS RP (1904-1990)

William Dring was a skilled technician, who produced realistic, restrained and smoothly executed images – both as a painter in oil and watercolour, and as a draughtsman, particularly in pastel. While he developed a strong reputation as a sympathetic portraitist – with sitters ranging from family members to the Prince of Wales –
he essayed a range of subjects, including landscape and still life.

William Dring, known familiarly as John, was born at 33 Kingscourt Road, Streatham, London, on 26 January 1904, the eldest child of William Henry Dring, a compositor for a daily newspaper, and his wife, Ellen (née Croft). His younger brother, James, would also became an artist.

Following schooling in Streatham, Dring studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, between 1922 and 1925, under Henry Tonks. While there, he won several prizes and scholarships – including those for decorative painting and figure drawing – and emerged as a fine draughtsman and painter. His fellow student, Grace Elizabeth Rothwell, known as ‘Gray’, would become his wife.

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