CLAUSEN, Sir George

1852 - 1944

George Clausen - self-portrait

Born in London on 18 April 1852, second son of George [Jorgen] Clausen (1822-1911), a Danish interior decorator, and his wife Elizabeth, who married at Magleby, Soro, Denmark in 1845. At the age of 14, George was apprenticed to the drawing office of Trollope, a London firm of decorators and whilst working there attended evening classes at the National Art Training School, South Kensington 1867-1873. After which he worked in the studio of Edwin Long, RA, and subsequently at Académie Julian in Paris under William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) and Tony Robert-Fleury (1837-1911). An English artist working in oil and watercolour, etching, mezzotint, dry point and occasionally lithographs and was an admirer of the naturalism of the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage about whom he wrote in 1888 and 1892. Clausen became one of the foremost modern painters of landscape and of peasant life, influenced to a certain extent by the impressionists, with whom he shared the view that light is the real subject of landscape art. His pictures excel in rendering the appearance of things under flecking outdoor sunlight, or in the shady shelter of a barn or stable. On 24 January 1895 elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and a full Academician on 23 January 1908 and a senior on 13 December 1927, and was a founder-member of the New English Art Club. Clausen was so prominent in the Royal Academy by this stage that in 1904 he became Professor of Painting, a post he held for two years. In 1917 Clausen was appointed an official war artist but because of his advanced years assigned to Woolwich Arsenal. During the 1920's Clausen painted numerous landscapes around his country cottage on Dutton Hill, Essex. He was knighted in 1927 and continued to exhibit regularly at the Royal Academy and in his 88th year his 'My Back Garden' (1940) was purchased for the Chantrey Bequest. In 1939 he was living at St Finian's Farm, Newbury, Berkshire with his wife Agnes, where he died on 22 November 1944. Not strictly a Suffolk Painter but was great friends with Walter Francis Crittall (1887-1956) of Silver End, Braintree, Essex and of Old Farm, Walberswick, Suffolk, who formed the 'Sole Bay Group' at Southwold, Suffolk and Clausen was a regular exhibitor with the Group and a member of the Woodpecker Art Club (later the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle) in 1904.





Works by This Painter