William Henry Pyne

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William Henry Pyne (born 1769 in London; died 29 May 1843 in London) was an English writer, illustrator and painter. He trained at a drawing academy in London. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1790. He specialized in picturesque settings including groups of people rendered in pen, ink and watercolour. Pyne was one of the founders of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1804.[1]

His book The Costume of Great Britain, including 60 paintings of professional and working-class men and women and scenes from everyday life (published by William Miller in 1805),[2] attracted the attention of the publisher Rudolph Ackermann, and Pyne was to engrave and write for many of his projects. Pyne's The History of the Royal Residences (1816–1819) is a great illustrated book that depicts interior decorations and furnishings of Windsor Castle, St. James's Palace, Carlton House, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court, although it caused financial difficulties for him – he died as poor man in 1824.[3]

Pyne’s watercolours are in major museum collections, such as the Royal Collection and the British Museum.



  1. ^  Cust, Lionel Henry (1896). "Pyne, William Henry". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 47. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 86–87. 
  2. ^ Pyne, William H. (1989) Pyne's British Costumes. Poole: Westminster Editions ISBN 1-872128-04-1 (a facsimile of the 1805 edition)
  3. ^ Redgrave, Samuel (1878). "Pyne, William Henry". A dictionary of artists of the English school. London: George Bell and Sons. pp. 344–345. 

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