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Sidney Richard Williams Percy

Biography of Artist

 

Born in 1821 and died on 13 April 1886

Landscape painter born in London 5th son of Edward “Old” Williams (1782 – 1855), Percy began his career when his elder brothers were already established and changed his name to avoid confusion over other members of the family, including his brothers Henry John Boddington and Arthur Gilbert. He was the father of Amy Dora Percy and Herbert Sidney Percy.

Percy's very early work was signed 'Sidney Williams' but he was only 20 when he adopted the use of 'Percy' as the name under which his paintings were to achieve a greater popularity than those of any other member of the Williams family.

Percy lived for many years, as did his brothers, in Barnes and on marrying Emily Fairlawn he subsequently moved to Wimbledon. His aspirations took him to Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire where he bought a country house to fulfil the lifestyle of a country gent.

Their Regency home, Hill House was ideally placed for the study of the English wooded landscape, as it looked across the Misbourne Valley to the beech woods and beyond. Percy reached the peak of his popularity as an artist during the years he spent at Hill House and was able to support the extravagant tastes of his wife - maintaining a carriage and employing an army of servants. The Percy family left Buckinghamshire after the death of their two elder children, and moved to Redhill, and then to Sutton in Surrey.

In the autumn of 1865 Percy visited Venice, returning home through Switzerland and Paris. No further foreign travel was possible, owing to the outbreak of war between Prussia and Austria the following year. In spite of this trip abroad it was the Welsh landscape that inspired and moved S R Percy. He was particularly fond of the villages of Llanbedr and Arthog, which are situated on either side of the Mawddach estuary in Merioneth.

During his lifetime he exhibited more than 300 paintings. His studio sale was held at Christies on 27 November 1886.

Works have been in the museums of Leeds, Montreal, Salford, Sheffield and Sunderland and his works have been auctioned throughout Europe, the UK and the US

Exhibited at:- Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

                      Manchester City Art Gallery

                      Royal Academy x 73

                      Royal Society of British Artists x 48

                      Suffolk Street x 73

                      Arthur Tooth & Sons Gallery

Museums : The Victoria Art Gallery, Bath; the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; The Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; and museums and city art galleries in Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Sunderland, Salford and York.

 

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