The post-Impressionist painter William Stott was born in Oldham, and studied art for some time at Manchester under J. Houghton Hague, and at the Manchester School of Art. He continued his studies in Paris under Bonnat, Gerome, and Pelouse, and also received instruction from Lhermitte and Degas. He exhibited in the Paris Salons and became a popular and influential painter there in the early 1880s. He then returned to England, settling in London. He joined the New English Art Club and was one of the circle of Whistler, until 1887, when he caused annoyance with a painting of Whistler's girlfriend as Venus. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1882-99, and unfortunately died rather young while on a sea voyage for his health.
Stott's speciality was figures in landscape, typically lounging girls in decorative surroundings, often tending towards the allegorical. He also produced many 'straight' landscapes, especially in the Alps. He called himself 'William Stott of Oldham' to distinguish himself clearly from Edward Stott, who is now somewhat more obscure.
Examples of Stott's figures in landscapes include Girl in a Meadow (with excellent dandelions) in the collection of the Tate Gallery and Awakening of the Spirit of the Rose and A Summer's Day in Manchester, in which gallery are also a portrait of Stott's wife and other landscapes. The Alps at Night is at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. An October Morning is at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, and a portrait of the artist T. Millie Dow is in the National Gallery of Scotland.