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Augustus John - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Augustus John (1878 - 1961)

While studying at the Slade School of Art and the University of London, Augustus Edwin John won a scholarship for his painting, Moses and the Brazen Serpent. In 1900, he traveled to Paris and then continued throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and Provence and painted under the influence of the Post-Impressionists. John served as a Canadian war artist during Word War I and then continued to paint portraits in England. He was appointed to the Royal Academy in 1928 and was given the Order of Merit in 1942. Augustus was celebrated first for his brilliant figure drawings, and then for a new technique of oil sketching. His work was favourably compared in London with that of Gauguin and Matisse. He then developed a style of portraiture that was imaginative and often extravagant, catching an instantaneous attitude in his subjects. He became a leader of the New English Art Club, where he chiefly exhibited. With his vivid manner of portraiture and his ability to catch unerringly some striking and usually unfamiliar aspect of his subject, he superseded Sargent as England's fashionable portrait painter. In 1921 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and elected a full R.A. in 1928. He was named to the Order of Merit by King George VI in 1942. He was a trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1933 - 1941 and President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters from 1948-1953.

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