Herbert Menzies Marshall, VPRWS RE ROI (1841-1913) Herbert Menzies Marshall was one of the most atmospheric of the Edwardian painters of urban topography.
Herbert Menzies Marshall was born on 1 August 1841, the youngest son of Thomas Horncastle Marshall, barrister-by-law, and later Judge of the Leeds County Court. The family lived at 33 Park Square, Leeds, and Outwood Hall, near Wakefield.
Marshall was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, playing first-class cricket for the university, and graduating in 1864 with a second-class degree in the natural science tripos. In the same year, he went to Paris for the purpose of studying architecture, and entered the atelier of Charles-Auguste Questel. On his return from Paris in 1867, he became a student of the Royal Academy Schools, and in the following year received the Travelling Studentship for Architecture. Apparently, ‘the result of travelling in Italy and of constant sketching under a bright sun was to weaken his eyesight so much that he was obliged to give up all work for two years, and especially any architectural drawing’ (Plarr 1895, page 570).
On his return to England, he lived close to the Royal Academy at 22 Old Burlington Street, with the architect, Robert Kerr, and was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, though never practised as an architect, and retired in 1871.
Marshall’s ‘accident induced him to turn his attention to water-colour painting, as being less trying to the eyes, and in 1871 he exhibited his first drawing at the Dudley Gallery’ (Plarr 1895, loc cit). He then worked mainly in London, producing series of topographical watercolours for exhibition and publication. He was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painters in Water- Colours in 1879, a full member in 1882 and acted as Vice-President between 1898 and 1900. He was also elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (1881), and the Royal Institute of Painters in Oils (1901). In addition, he showed regularly at such London dealers as the Fine Art Society, the Abbey Gallery and the Leicester Galleries, and in Paris, winning a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.
Lodging at 35 Great Marlborough Street by April 1881, Marshall married Amy Lee, the daughter of a solicitor, at the end of that month. Together, they would have one son and two daughters. By 1883, they were living at 1 Victoria Mansions, Westminster, with the Great Marlborough Street address probably being retained as a studio. In 1896, they probably moved to 39 Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, and were certainly living there by 1900.
In 1904, Marshall was appointed Professor of Landscape Painting at Queen’s College, Harley Street, London. By that date, he and his family were living at 83 Philbeach Gardens, Earl’s Court. He illustrated a number of books, including Miss Mitton’s The Scenery of London (1905), E V Lucas’s Wanderer in Holland (1905) and – with his daughter, Hester – Cathedral Cities of France (1907). He died at home on 2 March 1913.
Further reading Victor G Plarr, Men and Women of the Time. A Dictionary of Contemporaries, London: George Routledge, 1895, page 570