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Ethel Walker
(June 9, 1861 - 1951) U.K.

Ethel Walker

Painter

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Walker was born in Edinburgh. Her Yorkshire father, Arthur Walker, was from a family of iron-founders, and her mother, Isabella Robertson, was Scottish. Walker received her secondary school education in Brondesbury, London, where her drawing master, Hector Caffieri, encouraged her to develop her artistic talent.

After secondary school, Walker attended the Ridley School of Art. Nevertheless, she did not exhibit any special interest in art until she formed a close friendship with Clara Christian in the 1880s. The two women attended the Putney School of Art and then lived, studied, and worked together as fellow artists.

Walker also attended the Westminster School of Art, where Frederick Brown was a teacher. Around 1893, she followed him to the Slade School of Art for further study.

She produced a large body of work in different genres; she painted portraits, flowers, seascapes, landscapes, and mythical subjects. Walker's influences include Impressionism and Greek and Renaissance art. To these, the artist added her lifelong pleasure in color, light, paint, and the female form.

Walker is perhaps best known for her portraits of women in which she captures her sitters' individual temperaments and expressions. Indeed, she was less concerned with reproducing the sitters' exact likenesses than in catching their strong personalities and psychological states. She was named a Dame of the British Empire in 1943.

All of Dame Ethel Walker's paintings share one characteristic: they vibrate with the rhythm of the human spirit that, according to the artist, animates visible reality. Walker makes this belief palpable to the viewer through her use of animated brushstrokes, strong compositions, and bright colors.

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Source: from an article by Joyce M. Youmans at http://www.glbtq.com/arts/walker_e.html

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