Sir William Rothenstein - Man in a Japanese Costume

Sir William Rothenstein - Man in a Japanese Costume




Man in a Japanese Costume

Pencil and white chalk on brown paper


33.5 by 19.5 cm., 13 ¼ by 7 ¾ in.

(frame size 50.5 by 38 cm., 20 by 15 in.)


Michael Parkin Gallery, London;

John Pringle, Esq;

Alexandra Williams.

Executed c.1890

Rothenstein was born in Bradford where he was educated at the local grammar school before the Slade School of Art, London and the Academie Julian in Paris.  Whilst in Paris he shared his Montmartre studio with Charles Conder and met Whistler, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec.  He returned to Britain in 1893, working on several series of portrait paintings and lithographs.  At this time he became a close friend of the caricaturist Max Beerbohm.  In 1898-99 he co-founded the Carfax Gallery which held exhibitions by Charles Conder, Philip Wilson Steer, Charles Ricketts, Augustus John and Auguste Rodin.

Rothenstein busy career encompassed his work as a paintings and printmaker along with lecturing and writing on the arts.  In 1920 he became principal of the Royal College of Art.  He had a lifelong interest in Indian sculpture and paintings, studying and writing on the subject.  Known for his wide range of artistic and literary friends, his memoirs Men and Memories and Since Fifty give many anecdotes of his interesting associates and busy artistic career.  The subjects of his paintings varied, including portraits, landscapes, interiors, and a famous series of Jewish subjects.  He is represented in the many public collections, most notably that of the Cartwright Hall Gallery, Bradford and the Tate Gallery, London.

His family were heavily involved in the arts.  His brother Charles, who had entered the family business, became a major collector, leaving his collection to Manchester Art Gallery.  His brother Albert was a painter, illustrator and costume designer.  His son John became Director of the Tate Gallery and his son Michael was a talented painter and printmaker.  William Orpen was his brother-in-law.