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William Henry Fisk (1827-1884)

William Henry Fisk (1827-1884)

During his lifetime, William Henry Fisk was equally appreciated as painter, draughtsman and teacher. Though his initial exhibits were landscapes, he became better known for the history subjects that he showed at the Royal Academy, including an arresting group inspired by the events of the French Revolution.

William Henry Fisk was born in Homerton, Middlesex, the eldest of four children of the painter, William Fisk, and his wife, Sophia (née Austin) (not Margaret, née Thomas, as is stated in the
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). He grew up at 13 Howland Street, Fitzroy Square, and initially studied art under his father before attending the Royal Academy Schools. A skilled draughtsman, he was appointed to two highly responsible positions at an early age: he became anatomical draughtsman to the Royal College of Surgeons by 1843, and a drawing master at University College School, in Gower Street, in 1846. He rose to become head drawing master at UCS in the 1860s, and remained in that post almost until his death.

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