SOPER, George

1870 - 1942

Born in the London Borough of Hackney on 2 May 1870, son of George Robert Soper (1838-1888), a horticultural sundriesman, and his wife Elizabeth Longman née Cogan, who married at Clerkenwell, London in 1860. Soper was apprenticed to printer & stationer, George Sydney Waterlow and worked alongside Charles Robinson. George studied art at Ramsgate spending the early part of his career as an illustrator and in 1905 studied etching under Sir Frank Short and from then most of his talents were directed towards original printmaking continuing his tuition, for engraving, under Short at the Royal College of Art 1916-1920. His etchings are considered to be among the finest of their time and a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and a full member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. He married at Hackney, London in 1897, Ada Lehany (4 May 1873-1956) and their daughter was Eileen Soper [q.v.]. In 1908 he built a house in Harmer Green, Welwyn, Hertfordshire where he lived for the rest of his life and was known as 'Wildings' when his daughters inherited the property. In 1908 George Soper illustrated Charles Kingsleys 'Water Babies', the first of a number of classic gift books for Headley Brothers and the following year made colour illustrations for Mary Lamb's 'Tales from Shakspeare' and went on to illustrate many more. He exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Club in 1923 two works, an aquatint 'Low Tide' and an etching 'The Stranger'. After ‘Etching Boom’ ended early 1930s, George was involved in a range of artistic work and often worked closely with his daughters Eileen & Eva. He modelled Royal Worcester figures like Eva. In 1939 an artist living at Digswell, Welwyn with his wife Ada and two daughters Eileen and Eva who were also artists. He died at Welwyn in August 1942. Both the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, include examples of his etchings in their collections.





Works by This Painter