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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir George Clausen (1852-1944), Painter

Painter; born 18 April 1852, in London. Studied at National Art Training School and Antwerp Academy; exhibition debut 1876; inspired by the work of Jean-François Millet, Jules Bastien-Lepage and others, went ‘to live in the country to paint direct from Nature’ 1880; [1] henceforth known for depictions of rural labour and poverty, mostly observed in Essex; founder member New English Art Club 1886; elected Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours 1886, Royal Society of Painters in Water Colour 1898, ARA 1895, RA 1908; RA Professor of Painting 1904–6; master, Art Workers’ Guild 1909; war artist and parliamentary muralist; knighted 1927; died 22 November 1944, in Berkshire.

Clausen’s work was ‘concerned with the life of the country labourer, his actions and the land he works on … a literal truth raised to a higher power by his sense of design and his lyrical feeling for the beauty of light.’ [2]

‘In personal character he was quiet, modest, kindly and of courtly manners.’ [3] To Charles Shannon in December 1905, Clausen was ‘a horribly domestic creature, full of regard for old friends and obviously a happy nature in happy circumstances’. [4]

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Gibbon 1905.
2) [Hussey] 1923, p.14.
3) Grimsditch 1959.
4) Quoted McConkey 1980, p.77.

Referencesback to top

Cross 1992
Cross, T., Artists and Bohemians: 100 Years with the Chelsea Arts Club, London, 1992.

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

Evans 1928
Evans, P., Fifty Heads: Drawn by Powys Evans, London, 1928.

Gibbon 1905
Gibbon, J.M., ‘Interview with George Clausen, ARA’, Black & White, 8 July 1905, p.42.

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

Grimsditch 1959
Grimsditch, H.B., ‘Clausen, Sir George (1852–1944)’, DNB, Oxford, 1959.

[Hussey] 1923
[Dyneley Hussey], George Clausen, London, 1923.

McConkey 1980
McConkey, K., Sir George Clausen R.A. 1852–1944, exh. cat., Bradford Art Galleries and Museums and Tyne and Wear County Council Museums, 1980.

McConkey 2004a
McConkey, K., ‘Clausen, Sir George (1852–1944)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; online ed., October 2007.

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

Rosenblum, Stevens & Dumas 2000
Rosenblum, R., M. Stevens and A. Dumas, 1900: Art at the Crossroads, exh. cat., Guggenheim Museum, New York and Royal Academy, London, 2000.

Schwabe 1921
Schwabe, R., ‘Francis Dodd’, Print Collector’s Quarterly, vol.13, 1921, pp.249–272, 369–75.

Swanson 1990
Swanson, V.G., The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, London, 1990.

Warner 1997
Warner, M., The Victorians: British Painting 1837–1901, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1997.