Clausen, George (1852-1944) by Scholes, Robert

George Clausen (1852 – 1944) From Kenneth McConkey’s sketch of the painter’s life: He was the son of a Danish interior decorator and a woman of Scottish descent. At 14 he was apprenticed to the drawing office of Messrs Trollope, a London firm of decorators. While working there he attended evening classes at the National Art Training School, South Kensington, but his first important artistic contact came when he was sent to decorate a door at the home of the painter Edwin Long. With Long’s encouragement, Clausen obtained a two-year scholarship to the South Kensington School of Art and then decided to further his training at the Antwerp Academy. After studying briefly under Professor Joseph Van Lerius (1823–76), he began to sketch in the fishing villages along the Dutch coast; the product of these studies, High Mass at a Fishing Village on the Zuyder Zee (1876) was his first Royal Academy exhibit and was well received. At this time Clausen made his first forays to Paris and his work occasionally demonstrated interest in such painters as and . It was, however, the rustic subject-matter of John Robertson Reid and Léon Lhermitte that prepared him for his first encounter in 1880 with the Salon naturalism of Jules Bastien-Lepage. In that year Bastien-Lepage’s the Hay Gatherers was shown at the Grosvenor Gallery (London), where Clausen, a fellow exhibitor, admired it. A painting expedition to the artists’ colony at Quimperlé, Brittany, in 1882 underscored his new allegiances; there followed an impressive sequence of paintings of fieldworkers, such as Winter Work. Whistler William Quiller Orchardson Clausen was a founder-member of the New English Art Club and, like , was committed to reforming the selection process of the Royal Academy. Henry Herbert La Thangue

Back to top

Back to Top