This head and shoulders portrait depicts the artist's friend (and fellow artist) Henry Woods, RA posed at a slight angle to his left and depicted wearing a dark jacket and light-coloured shirt with a wing collar. Henry Woods was the son of a Warrington jeweller who was educated at Boteler Grammar School. He studied at the Warrington School of Art from the age of nine and was awarded the National Bronze Medal aged 11.
After winning a National Scholarship to London at the age of 18 he moved to the capital, working at the South Kensington Schools and as a draughtsman on 'The Graphic'. His first Royal Academy painting was exhibited in 1869 and from then on he exhibited at the Academy every year, never having a single work rejected. In 1878 he settled in Venice where he became the only foreigner elected to the College of Academicians at the Royal Academy of Venice. While in Venice he befriended fellow Warrington artist Oswald Garside and also became acquainted with Whistler who he described as 'the cheekiest scoundrel out' for his habit of borrowing money off everyone. Henry Woods was found dead, with a brush in his hand, in Venice on 27th October 1921.
Where to see this painting?
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery
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