SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL FLINT

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BIOGRAPHY

1880-1969

ROI 1912, RSW 1913, RWS 1917, ARA 1924, ARE 1931, RE 1933, RA 1933

Born in Edinburgh, the son of a graphic artist, he trained as a lithographic draughtsman in an Edinburgh firm, studying at the Royal Institution School in the evenings. After a visit to the continent in 1900 with his brother, he settled in London and worked as an illustrator for magazines.

In 1905 he exhibited a watercolour at the RA for the first time, and began to produce colour illustrations. Following a meeting with Philip Lee Warner of the Medici Society, he produced a series of fine colour illustrations for the Ricardi Press. These included Morte d’ AurthurTheocritusand The Song of Solomon. His series for The Savoy Operas published by George Bell and Sons 1909-1910 were bought by Marcus Huish and exhibited at the Fine Art Society. They represent some of the finest book illustrations of the period.

In the years prior to the 1st WW, Flint began painting watercolours in France, Scotland and in 1912, Italy. His watercolour style was strongly influenced by the “wet” technique of Melville and the Glasgow School. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, his reputation grew rapidly and his dashing watercolours of Spain, France, Italy and Scotland, all brilliant display’s of virtuosity, were keenly sought by collectors. He was able to sum up the heat of the Mediterranean as successfully as the snow in the Alps, and his success led to many imitations. He died in London in 1969.