French, Cecil (1879-1953) by Scholes, Robert

Cecil French (1879-1953) The following information comes from the website of the Cecil French Bequest at Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre The Lilla Huset, 191 Talgarth Road, London: Cecil French was born in Dublin and trained as an artist at the Royal Academy Schools, London, and at School at Bushey, Hertfordshire. French exhibited between 1902 and 1922 but the majority of his paintings were shown in the early years of the twentieth century when he exhibited July at the Royal Academy Annual Exhibition in 1902 and showed works at the Baillie Gallery in 1903. His etchings and lithographs are represented in the British Museum Print Room and he illustrated his first volume of verse, Between Sun and Moon, published in 1922 by the Favil Press in a limited edition of 350 copies, with his own woodcuts. Interestingly this is dedicated to his fellow Irishman, the poet W.B.Yeats. According to his friend David Gould, writing in 1954, French largely abandoned painting after 1903 because he felt unable to attain the standards of the Florentine Renaissance painters and Pre-Raphaelite artists he so admired. Instead he concentrated on collecting the works of a limited number of late nineteenth century and contemporary painters who appealed to him. Most of the living painters he patronised moved in the same circle, and Edward Stott painted together in Sussex and lived in the same studio block as and . French, who knew them all, must have been as much a friend as a purchaser. Sir Hubert von Herkomer’s William Shackleton Frederick Cayley Robinson Charles Ricketts Charles Shannon French’s own work was reviewed sympathetically by Huntly Carter in , The New Age (NA 6.17:403)

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