Philip Wilson Steer
Philip Wilson Steer (1860-1942) spent his childhood and youth at Whitchurch near Ross-on-Wye, just three miles from the English-Welsh border, and studied at the Gloucester College of Art. He was at the centre of much controversy in the British art world at the end of the nineteenth century and was a prime mover in the adoption of French Impressionist techniques during that period. Although much criticised for this role, Steer taught at the Slade for many years and was a friend of Sargent, Sickert and other influential artists. Eventually his stunning landscapes caught the mood of loss and of "Englishness" in the inter-war years and he became one of the most popular and admired artists in Britain. This timely study of Steer, the first for twenty years, explores his importance to British art and charts the influence of the Impressionists, Turner, Constable and Gainsborough on his work. It is also a fascinating story of how a modest and unassuming man devoted himself to art, even in the face of increasing blindness, and became a leader of opinion through his painting.