Cairo Street Scene

Watercolour on paper
Signed and dated bottom left ’79
Image size: 20 1/4 x 14 1/2 inches (52 x 37 cm)

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Hubert von Herkomer CVO RA was a Bavarian-born British painter and also a pioneering film director and composer. Though a very successful portrait painter, especially of men, he is mainly remembered for his earlier works that took a realistic approach to the conditions of the poor.

He was born at Wall in Bavaria in 1849 but settled with his family in Southampton in 1857 where they would live for over 15 years. While in Southampton, Herkomer went to the school of art there and began his formal art training. He also studied in Munich, and in 1866 he entered upon a more serious course of study at the South Kensington Schools and in 1869 exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy.

He founded the Herkomer Art School at Bushey in 1883 and directed it until 1904 when he retired. During these years he taught more than 500 students, many of whom, such as Algernon Talmage and William Nicholson, went on to achieve distinction. He was also an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1893 and a full member in 1894, in 1885 was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, a position he held until 1894.