Edward Poynter

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    Edward Poynter and his contribution

    Edward John Poynter (1836- 1919) was well known for his contributions to the painting world. He was an English painter, draughtsman, designer, and the 1st Baronet PRA, GCVO. He also served in the Royal Academy as President.


    Edward John Poynter was born in Paris, France, on March 20, 1836, an English Architect, and his name was Ambrose Poynter. After the birth of Edward John, the entire family left Parish and moved to Britain. In Britain, Edward Poynter started his education at Ipswich School and Brighton College. At a very early period, he left his school due to his spending winters in Rome and Madeira, and another reason was his ill health.

    When he reached 17 in 1853, he met British painter, sculptor, and draughtsman - Frederick Leighton in Rome and got influenced by him. Then he joined the Royal Academy Schools and Leigh's Academy in Newman Street in London. Late went to Paris and joined the classicist painter and Swiss artist Charles Gleyre for his further studies, where he met his fellow students George du Maurier (Franco-British cartoonist and writer) and James McNeill Whistler.

    In 1866, Edward John Poynter got married to Agnes MacDonald, and both had three children. Agnes was the only daughter of Reverend George Browne MacDonald.

    His Professional life:

    Edward John Poynter was a popular English painter at that time. In 1867, he published his historical painting "Israel in Egypt" at Guildhall Art Gallery, situated in London. Later, in 1869, his historical painting named St. George for England got published too. Then he published his work "The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon" at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in between 1884 to 1890, and it is known as. In 1869, he joined the Royal Academy as an associate.

    He held many higher official posts in his entire career and was very much appreciated for that. From 1871 to 1875, Edward John Poynter worked at the University College London as the first Slade Professor.

    • From 1875 to 1881, he served at the National Art Training School as the principal.
    • From 1894 to 1904, he worked at the National Gallery as the director.
    • In 1876, he began his career as a full Royal Academician.
    • In the year 1896, Sir John Millais's demise had brought another opportunity for Poynter. In the same year, Edward John Poynter was elected at the Academy for the President post.
    • In 1896, he achieved a knighthood in Britain.
    • In 1898, he achieved an honorary degree for his great work from Cambridge University.
    • In 1902, his name was announced to receive a baronetcy in the list of Coronation Honours. It was postponed and published for the coronation of King Edward VIIon June 26, 1902. 
    • On July 24, 1902, he made a Baronet, of Albert Gate in London, in Westminster city.

    His Famous Works:

    Edward John Poynter gave his entire life to painting and drawing and produced a lot for the world with his amazing skills and got noted in the painting world. Some of his famous paintings are:

    • The Siren: It was a private collection, which got published in the year 1864. It is a mythological genre painting. 
    • Andromeda: This painting is published in the year1869. It belongs to the genre of nude painting (nu) and mythological painting.
    • The Cave of the Storm Nymphs: It was a private collection, which got popularity in 1903.
    • Corner of the Marketplace: It was published in 1887. It had followed the style of Academicism and Romanticism. And it is a mythological genre painting.
    • Wild blossoms: In this painting, the author has shown a lady is plucking flowers, which got published in1880. It is a genre painting, and the style was Academicism and Romanticism.
    • Lesbia and Her Sparrow: It got published in 1907 and was a portrait genre and followed the style of Academicism.
    • The Ionian Dance MotusDoceriGaudetIonicos, Matura Virgo, EtFingiturArtibus: This painting is a history painting. It had followed the style of Academicism.
    • The Catapult: This painting was published in Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, in 1868. This painting comes under the genre of battle painting and history painting.
    • Israel in Egypt: It was published at Guildhall Art Gallery in 1867.
    • Outward Bound: It was published in 1886.

    Other famous paintings are At Low Tide, Psyche in the Temple of Love, Pea Blossoms, UneNymphe Du Ruisseau, etc.

    His Written works on Paintings and Art:

    Edward John Poynter had contributed to the painting and thought of spreading his knowledge to the upcoming generations. For this, he began to write some books, which can help others. His famous written works are:

    • Ten lectures on Art: This work was published in 1880. And it was in the English language. The publisher of the book was London: Chapman and Hall. In this book, he talked about Art in the form of ten lectures or ten chapters. 
    • German, Flemish, and Dutch painting: This book was published in 1881 by Scribner and Welford. This book is completely written in the English language. Here, he talked about the paintings of Flemish, German, and Dutch.
    • Classic and Italian painting: This book was published in 1890 by the publisher London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, &Rivington. Here, the author had talked about the Italian paintings and classic paintings in different chapters, which are written in English.



    He took his last breath in London, United Kingdom, on July 26, 1919. In his memory, his old school -Brighton College, organized an exhibition- Life at Arm's Length at the Burstow Gallery November–December 1995, which was completely based on Edward John Poynter's drawings and paintings. Overall, his contributions to painting and drawing were always appreciated by many painters; and the upcoming generation will also remember him for his great contribution to drawings and paintings.


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