Sir George Clausen RA RI (1852-1944)

The son of a Danish painter and sculptor, George Clausen was born in London in 1852, and trained in London with a firm of decorators. He studied in the evenings at the South Kensington Schools, and after winning several prizes and a scholarship for painting, became a full time artist in 1871. After the end of his scholarship, he became assistant to the painter Edwin Long, who advised him to travel to the Low Countries. He completed his training in Paris, working briefly under Bouguereau. He exhibited in London from 1876, producing pictures in the Dutch style until the beginning of the 1880s, when he married and moved to the country, thereafter painting various rural subjects. His work showed the influence of Bastien-Lepage, of whom he was a great admirer. In 1886 he was a founding member of the New English Art Club. His work The Girl at the Gate was bought under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest in 1889, and in 1895 he was elected ARA. He became a full Academician in 1908, having already held the Professorship of Painting at the Academy from 1903-6.

The Girl at the Gate is in the collection of the Tate Gallery. A Dutch subject, High Mass at a Fishing Village on the Zuyder Zee is at Nottingham Castle Museum, and another is at Bristol. The Stone Pickers is at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. Good examples of his rural subjects are in Leeds. Examples of his work from the First World War are in the Imperial War Museum.

Typical etching by George Clausen.

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