1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/John, Augustus Edwyn
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John, Augustus Edwyn
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John, Augustus Edwyn (1879– ), British painter, was born at Tenby on Jan. 4 1879. He received his art education at the Slade School, London, and afterwards worked in Paris, later spending some time in Provence. He became a regular exhibitor at the New English Art Club, and in 1901–2 was teacher of art in the university of Liverpool, returning to London in 1902. He early became prominent as a powerful draughtsman and painter with a fine sense of design. His earlier work includes “The Way Down to the Sea” (1906), lent by Mr. John Quinn to the Metropolitan Museum of New York; “The Kitchen Garden,” “The Smiling Woman” (1910) and “The Mumpers” (1912). For the Arts and Crafts Exhibition at Burlington House 1916, he executed a mural decoration illustrating “Peasant Industry.” During the war he held a commission as official artist in the Canadian Corps, and exhibited at the Canadian War Memorial Exhibition 1919 a cartoon for a large decoration, “Canadians opposite Lens.” He was later commissioned by the Imperial authorities to paint the chief characters of the Peace Conference. These portraits include two of the Emir Faisal and of Mr. W. M. Hughes, and those of Lt.-Col. T. E. Lawrence (presented to the Tate Gallery by the Duke of Westminster), Sir Robert Borden and Mr. Massey. He also painted portraits of Mr. Lloyd George (1916), Mr. Bernard Shaw (1916), Lord Fisher (1917), Lord Sumner (1918–9) and the Marchesa Casati (1918–9). His etchings form an important part of his work, the majority being produced between 1901–10. They include portraits, single figures and groups. He is marked among his contemporaries by his choice of figure subjects and a preference for small plates. He is represented in the Tate Gallery by several pictures, including “The Smiling Woman,” “Peasant Industry,” “Robin” (1917–8), and “Rachael,” and in the Print Room of the British Museum. His early work, with its definite contour enclosing areas of colour, relates him to the quattrocento Italian painters. Distortion for personal emphasis and decorative effect is another marked characteristic. In 1921 he was elected A.R.A.