William Barnes Wollen

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William Barnes Wollen

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
An 1892 illustration of Wollen in The Illustrated London News
William Barnes Wollem

6 October 1857
Died28 March 1936
StyleWatercolor painting, oil painting

William Barnes Wollen RI ROI (6 October 1857 – 28 March 1936) was an English painter mostly known for his paintings of battle and historical scenes and sporting events.[1]


Born in Leipzig on 6 October 1857, he was educated at University College School in London from 1871 to 1873 and also at the Slade School. From 1879 until 1922, he exhibited pictures at the Royal Academy, National Watercolour Society and elsewhere.[2] His first picture exhibited at the Royal Academy was entitled "Football" but he followed this up with his first military painting in 1881 entitled "The rescue of Private Andrews by Captain Garnet J. Wolseley, H.M. 90th L.I. at the storming of the Motee Mahail, Lucknow". He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1888.

"Defeat of the Prussian Guard, Ypres, 1914"

In 1900, he was commissioned by the new illustrated weekly newspaper, The Sphere to act as one of its special artists in South Africa to cover the Boer War. His experiences during this war resulted in several paintings including "The Imperial Light Horse at Waggon Hill, January 6, 1900", "The Victoria Cross", and "The 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment storming the Boer trenches at Pieter's Hill". The artist also exhibited several scenes during and shortly after World War I depicting that conflict.

"The Black Watch (42nd Highlanders) at Bay, Quatre Bras"
"The last stand of the survivors of Her Majesty's 44th Foot at Gandamak"

He lived in London during his career in Camden Square and Bedford Park, and died in London, on 28 March 1936 aged 78.



Written works[edit]

  • Wollen, W.B., "Christmas at the Front: A reminiscence of Christmas at Modder River," Cassell's Magazine, Dec. 1900 – May 1901, pp. 112–115.


  1. ^ Formerly Buffs Regimental Museum, City Art Gallery, Canterbury.


  1. ^ "William Barnes Wollen ( 1857 - 1936) Archives". Antique Print Map Room. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  2. ^ "Military Prints by William B Wollen". www.military-prints.com. Retrieved 14 December 2023.


  • Harrington, Peter. (1993). British Artists and War: The Face of Battle in Paintings and Prints, 1700–1914. London: Greenhill.
  • "War Pictures. How they are painted," The Regiment, 15 February 1902, pp. 308–309.

External links[edit]