Bristol Artists and the Bristol School

A fair number of artists are associated with Bristol. One of the earliest became the most recognised - Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), later President of the Royal Academy, was a native of Bristol. But the Bristol School, so-called, was largely due to Francis Danby, who lived in Bristol in the early 19th Century, and James Baker Pyne, who was born in the town and taught painting there before he departed in 1835. Both had pupils and followers in the area, of varying degrees of obscurity, and these form the School. Pyne did have one famous pupil, W. J. Muller, son of the curator of the local museum, who after painting competent but rather unmemorable landscapes, visited the Middle East, inspiring a series of Eastern pictures that are his best known output today. Danby's followers included Samuel Colman, Samuel Jackson, and two artist sons, Thomas and James, both reared in Bristol. All of these were landscapists to some degree or another.

Other painters associated with Bristol, more of less chronologically, include Edward Bird, who settled in the area before 1800, P. F. Poole and W. M. Hale who were both born in the area, and two women painters, Rolinda Sharples and Helen Hatton.

There is a single sculptor of some fame who was born in Bristol, Edward Hodges Baily. Work by Baily, and by all the painters above, is in the collection of the Art Gallery in Bristol.

We may also make passing mention of the neighbouring town of Bath, where Thomas Barker of Bath was the leading member of a dynasty of painters.

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