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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

William Strang (1859-1921), Painter and etcher

Printmaker and painter; born 13 February 1859, in Dumbarton. Studied at the Slade under Alphonse Legros and became renowned for prolific, imaginative and sometimes macabre etching; early works such as Death of the Ploughman’s Wife (1888) and The Socialists (1891) were followed by The Ancient Mariner (1896) and Don Quixote (1902), together with many portraits, of which over twenty are in the National Portrait Gallery; exhibited RA from 1892, New English Art Club from 1893, Dresden 1897, Vienna Secession 1898; close to Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon in the 1890s, like the latter devoting more energies to painting around 1900; member Art Workers Guild 1895, Royal Society of Portrait Painters 1896, Society of Twelve 1904; elected ARA 1906 (as engraver), RA 1921; president International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers 1918; died 12 April 1921 at Bournemouth.

Strang is described as stocky in build and combative in temperament. [1] ‘In manner he was direct, but without rudeness, except where it was deserved; in character upright and charming.’ [2] He was also ‘a magnificent story-teller, in the best Scotch manner’. [3] Two of his five children also became printmakers.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Binyon 1927.
2) The Times, 14 Apr. 1921 (obit.).
3) Campbell Dodgson 1933, p.11.

Referencesback to top

Anon 1903
Anon. [‘A member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers’], ‘Modern British Etchers: William Strang’, Magazine of Art, 1903, pp.177–81.

Athill & Goodchild 1981
Athill, P., and A. Goodchild, William Strang RA, 1859–1921, Painter-Etcher, exh. cat, Sheffield City Art Galleries, Glasgow City Art Gallery and NPG, London: Sheffield, 1981.

Binyon 1921
Binyon, L., ‘The Etchings and Engravings of William Strang’, Print-Collectors’ Quarterly, vol.8, pp.349–76.

Binyon 1927
Binyon, L., ‘Strang, William (1859–1921)’, DNB, Oxford, 1927.

Binyon 2004b
Binyon, L., ‘Strang, William (1859–1921)’, rev. A.L. Goodchild, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; online ed., October 2007.

Buchanan 1992
Buchanan, W., The Art of the Photographer: J. Craig Annan 1864–1946, exh. cat., National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1992.

Buchanan 1994
Buchanan, W., ed., J. Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography, Oxford, 1994.

Buchanan 2004
Buchanan, W., ‘Annan, James Craig (1864–1946)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Cadby 1903
Cadby, A.W., ‘A Chat on the London Photographic Salon’, Camera Work, no.1, January 1903, pp.22–5.

Carter 1902
Carter, A.C.R., ‘The Two Great Exhibitions. The Photographic Salon’, Photograms of the Year 1902, London, 1902, pp.115–76.

Davids 2000
Davids, R., The Artist as Portrait, exh. cat., Fine Art Society, London, 2000.

Dodgson 1933
Dodgson, C., The Etchings of William Strang and Sir Charles Holroyd, London, 1933.

Furst 1921
Furst, H., ‘The Painting of William Strang RA’, The Studio, vol.81, May 1921, pp.171–7.

Garton 2000
Garton, R., intro., The Etching Revival in England 1850–1950, exh. cat., Wolseley Fine Arts, London, 2000.

Gernsheim & Gernsheim 1969
Gernsheim, H., and A. Gernsheim, History of Photography, rev. ed., London, 1969.

Goodison 1977
Goodison, J.W., Catalogue of Paintings in the Fitzwilliam Museum, vol.3, British School, Cambridge, 1977.

Hare & Bielecka 2006
Hare, B., and P. Bielecka, Divided Selves: The Scottish Self-Portrait from the 17th Century to the Present, exh. cat., Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh and Fleming Collection, London, 2006.

Hart-Davis 1972
Hart-Davis, R., A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beerbohm, London, 1972.

Massé 1935
Massé, H.J.L.J., The Art-Workers’ Guild 1884–1934, Oxford, 1935.

Newbolt 1907
Newbolt, F.G., Etchings (and Engravings)of William Strang, London, 1907.

O’Donoghue 1908–22
O’Donoghue, F., Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 5 vols, London, 1908–22 (and vol.6, H.M. Hake, Supplement and indexes, 1925).

Oliver 1967
Oliver, G., Glasgow Portraits by J. Craig Annan, exh. cat., Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh, 1967.

Pepper and Prodger 2011: Pepper, T and Prodger, P, Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street, London, 2011

PCF (Fitzwilliam) 2006
Public Catalogue Foundation, Paintings in Public Ownership in Cambridgeshire: The Fitzwilliam Museum, London, 2006.

Rogers 1989
Rogers, M., Camera Portraits, exh. cat., NPG, London, 1989.

Rothenstein 1926
Rothenstein, J., The Portrait Drawings of William Rothenstein 1889–1925, London, 1926.

Smailes 1990
Smailes, H., comp., The Concise Catalogue of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1990.

Strang 1912
William Strang: Catalogue of his Etched Work 1882–1912, 2 vols, Glasgow, 1912.

Strang 1962
Strang, D., William Strang RA LlD: Catalogue of his Etchings and Engravings, Glasgow, 1962 [incorporating all previous catalogues].