Norman Wilkinson was a British artist in oil, watercolour and dry point, usually of marine subjects. An illustrator and poster artist, he also made an important contribution in both World Wars in the field of camouflage, namely dazzle camouflage.
Educated at Berkhamsted School and St Paul’s Cathedral choir school, he had little training in art but largely developed his style through his maritime career. In 1898 he started contributing to The Illustrated London News and The Illustrated Mail which was the start of a long association. In Paris in 1899 he studied figure painting but was already set upon working on marines. With his love of the sea he travelled extensively including visits to Spain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Greece, Aden, Bahamas, United States, Canada, and Brazil.
He was elected R.I. in 1906. During World War I he served at the Dardanelles, on submarine patrol in the Mediterranean, and on a minesweeper in the English Channel. One of his paintings, ‘The Approach to Plymouth Harbour’ was on the Titanic when it sank.
Museums & Galleries
Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Abbey Gallery, Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham, Beaux Arts Gallery, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum, National Railway Museum and the Ulster Museum.