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Byam Shaw ARWS RI ROI (1872-1919)


John Liston Byam Shaw, ARWS RI ROI (1872-1919)

Byam Shaw was an astonishingly versatile artist of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, he worked variously as a painter, illustrator and cartoonist, and as a designer of stained glass, sets and costumes for the theatre, and even a tapestry for Morris & Co. Equipped with a strong sense of design and a bright palette, he was equally well suited to work in black and white and in colour. Enthusiastic and good-humoured, he was also able to communicate his many skills to others, becoming an influential teacher, and opening a school that long bore his name.

Byam Shaw was born in ‘Ferndale’, a large house in Madras, India, on 13 November 1872. He was the third child and younger son of John Shaw, the Registrar of the High Court of Madras, and Sophia Alicia Byam Gunthorpe, second daughter of Captain John Houlton Gunthorpe of the Madras Horse Artillery.

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