British, 1826–1919


A painter, watercolorist, designer and illustrator, Poynter was well versed in many mediums. He was the son of an artist, watercolorist and architect Ambrose Poynter. He studied in London in 1853, where he met Lord Frederick Leighton and in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts under Charles Gleyre from 1856 to 1859. From 1859 on he exhibited in London at the Royal Academy, where he became an associate member in 1869, a Royal Academician in 1876, and finally, after the death of Sir John Millais, the President of the Royal Academy in 1896, a post which he remained at until 1918. From 1871–1881 he held important positions in art education, and developed academic principles he had obtained at the École des Beaux Arts de Paris. He was also a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, and an honorary member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Society of Miniature Painters.

After Poynter became artistic director at the South Kensington Museum, he was appointed director of the National Gallery, London, from 1894 until 1904 or 1906. He contributed to several works by Jean Ingelow as an illustrator within the years of 1869–1894 and also contributed to several magazines. As a painter he primarily focused on historical subjects, which brought him considerable success. His works display his clear attention to historical detail. In addition, he was highly regarded as a painter of the female nude.

Museum Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham
British Museum, London
Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Deleware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
Leighton House Museum, London
Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Mark Murray Fine Paintings is a New York gallery specializing in buying and selling 19th century and early 20th century artwork. 

Please contact us if you are interested in selling your Sir Edward John Poynter paintings or other artwork from the 19th century and early 20th century.