Arc de Triomphé, Paris 1924

Arc de Triomphe, Paris.
Graphite on paper, 26.5 x 45.5 cm. Signed and dated 1925

Sir Henry George “Harry” Rushbury (28 October 1889 – 5 July 1968) was an English painter and etcher.

Born the son of a clerk in Harborne, then on the outskirts of Birmingham, Rushbury studied on a scholarship under Robert Catterson Smith at the Birmingham School of Art from the age of thirteen. He worked as an assistant to Henry Payne chiefly as a stained-glass artist, until 1912, when he moved to London, where he shared lodgings with fellow Birmingham student, Gerald Brockhurst.

Rushbury was an official war artist during World War I, and took up etching and drypoint under the influence of Francis Dodd before studying briefly under Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Art in 1921.

He was elected a member of the New English Art Club in 1917, the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1921, the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1922, and the Royal Academy in 1936. In 1940 he was again appointed an official war artist until 1945. In 1949, he was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy and Head of the Royal Academy Schools, a post he held until 1964. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1964 New Year Honours.

LONDON.- This summer, the Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of drawings, watercolours and prints by Sir Henry Rushbury RA (1889-1968). The exhibition, in the Tennant Gallery, offers a rare opportunity to reappraise the work of one of the great British painter-etchers.

Internationally renowned during his lifetime but neglected today, Rushbury took as his subjects the landscapes, cities and street-life of Britain and Europe. Whether working in watercolour or drypoint, drawing was the cornerstone of Rushbury’s art, enabling him to conjure extraordinary effects of mood and atmosphere in his depictions of the places and people he encountered.

The selection of works on display reveals the artist’s rich and varied career. Studying first at Birmingham Municipal School of Art (1903-09), Rushbury moved to bohemian Chelsea in 1912 and soon established a reputation as a promising young etcher. He went on to become an official War Artist in both World Wars and, between them, one of the most sought-after printmakers of the etching ‘boom’ of the 1920s, noted also for his exceptionally fine watercolours.

Elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1927 and a full Academician in 1936, Rushbury served as Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools from 1949-64, proving a generous and open-minded supporter of a younger generation of artists in training.

The exhibition includes loans from Tate, the Imperial War Museum and Museums Sheffield, as well as private collections and works from the Royal Academy’s own collection.urs.

Elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1927 and a full Academician in 1936, Rushbury served as Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools from 1949-64, proving a generous and open-minded supporter of a younger generation of artists in training.

The exhibition includes loans from Tate, the Imperial War Museum and Museums Sheffield, as well as private collections and works from the Royal Academy’s own collection.

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