British, 1860–1942


"Philip Wilson Steer trained at Gloucester School of Art and in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian, from 1882 to 1884. He was a founder of the New English Art Club in 1886, and taught at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1893 to 1930. He lost most of his sight at the age of 70. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1927.

"Steer's early works were notable for their schematised drawing. His nudes, painted during the same period, were worked in thick, sensual impasto. Essentially a landscape painter, his works seem influenced by Jules Bastien-Lepage, and his later work is suffused with nostalgia for the 18th century, notably for Constable and Gainsborough. Some of his figure compositions or portraits show the influence of Degas and Whistler. The influence of the Impressionists is most clearly discernible in his work, mostly painted after 1890, especially the numerous scenes of Walberswick beach, notably the oil Young Girls Running on the Boardwalk at Walberswick (c. 1889), one of the first works of British Impressionism. Steer's later paintings, most of which were watercolours feature a delicate use of fine glazes reminiscent of the poetic, 'misty' atmosphere of Turner's late works, an example being the watercolour Walberswick (1930). Together with Walter Sickert, Steer is one of the most important exponents of English Impressionism. Steer took part in the only exhibition of the London Impressionists Group in 1889, and exhibited with the Groupe des XX in Brussels, and with the Royal Academy from 1883 to 1885" (Benezit, Dictionary of Artists, Paris, 2006).

Museum Collections:
Amgueddfa Cymru, Cardiff
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery, Gloucester
Dublin City Art Gallery, Hugh Lane, Dublin
Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool
National Portrait Gallery, London
Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton
Tate Gallery, London
University of Aberdeen Marischal Museum, Aberdeen
Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS

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Please contact us if you are interested in selling your Philip Wilson Steer paintings or other artwork from the 19th century and early 20th century.