Frederick William Elwell
Frederick William Elwell RA (Beverley 29 June 1870 – 3 January 1958) was an English painter in oils of portraits, interiors, and figurative subjects. He exhibited at the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy, where he became a member in 1938, and painted a portrait of King George V in 1932.
Frederick Elwell was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, the son of wood carver James Edward Elwell. He studied at the Lincoln School of Art, then the Royal Academy in Antwerp and the Académie Julien in Paris.
He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1894 and at the Royal Academy in 1895.
Much of his work, practised in a vigorous and realistic style, expressed his interest in recording Yorkshire life. The Times, in its review of the Royal Academy exhibition of 1936, favourably described his painting, The Lying-in-State, Westminster Hall (1936), as successfully conveying the emotions felt by those who had been present at the lying-in-state of the late King George V. Some 22 years later, the same newspaper described his work as ‘persuasive’ rather than ‘arresting’, and him as ‘pre-eminently a painter of domesticity’.
He lived for a short time in London, and then returned to Beverley in 1903, where in 1914 he married Mary Dawson Bishop (1874–1952), a painter of landscapes and interiors. He was made a freeman of Beverley, where he composed many of his works. As a pastime, he enjoyed gardening.
• The Last Purchase • The Beverley Arms Kitchen (1919) • The Old Library, Castle Ashby (1927) • The Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne in their Drawing-room at Glamis (1932) • Portrait of King George V (1932) • Man with a Pint (1933) • The Lying-in-State, Westminster Hall (1936)
- Wood, Christopher. Dictionary of British Art, Volume IV: Victorian Painters: I. The Text, (Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge, 1995), p. 159
- Dolman, Bernard, (ed.). A Dictionary of Contemporary British Artists, 1929, (Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge, 1981 (reprinted)), p. 142
- Waters, Grant M.. Dictionary of British Artists, Working 1900-1950, (Eastbourne Fine Art, Eastbourne, 1975), p. 105
- Spalding, Frances. Dictionary of British Art, Volume VI: 20th Century Painters and Sculptors, (Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge, 1990), pp. 158-59
- ‘Royal Academy, The Benediction of China, First Notice’, The Times, 2 May 1936, p. 15
- ‘Obituary: Mr. F. W. Elwell, A Painter of Domesticity’, The Times, 4 January 1958, p. 11