William Lionel Wyllie, R.A., R.E. (British, 1851-1931)
The mouth of the harbour signed 'W.L. Wyllie' and dated 1910 (lower right) oil on canvas 66 x 111.7cm. (26 x 44in.)
Exhibited : Royal Academy, 1910, no. 756.
William Lionel Wyllie ( R.A. R.I. R.E., 1851 - 1931) is acknowledged as one of the most talented marine artists bridging the 19th. and 20th. Centuries, producing oil paintings, watercolours, pencil sketches and drypoint etchings, which show his complete mastery of his oeuvre. Whilst Wyllie is justifiably best - known via his etchings for his Thames views, he also painted pictures of Portsmouth Harbour, Gosport, Spithead, Cowes, Swanage, Brighton, St. Ives, Liverpool, Whitby, Scarborough, Arran, Mont St. Michel, Gibralter, Ship Portraits, Battle and Yachting scenes. Wyllie began exhibiting at the R.A. in 1868 and showed 199 works there until his death in 1931, aged 80. He was elected A.R.A. in 1889 and a full Royal Academician in 1907. In 1883, his R.A. exhibit of the Thames at Greenwich, titled " Toil, Glitter, Grime and Wealth on a Flowing Tide " was purchased for the Chantrey Bequest (Tate Gallery) . As Teddy Archibald noted, "Wyllie's obsessive love for the sea and anything that floated on it, embraced every type and size of vessel. It moved him to cover every aspect of the working river and set a fashion that other artists followed " ( "Dictionary of Sea Painters, E.H.H. Archibald, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1980, pg. 204"). Wyllie exhibited at the R.H.A., R.O.I., R.I., N.E.A.C., and the R.S.W. and works can be found in the National Maritime Museum, Victory Museum, Portsmouth, Bristol City Art Gallery, The Tate and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.