QUINTON, Alfred Robert

1853 - 1934

Alfred Quinton

Born at Peckham, London in late 1853, youngest of the seven children of John Allan Quinton (1817-1906), printer & editor of periodicals, and his wife Eliza née Cullum (1818-1886), who married at Ipswich in 1840 and were of the family of Quinton of Needham Market, near Ipswich. About 1851 Alfred's parents moved to 5 Ellington Terrace, Islington, London and his father, who learned the printing trade at Burton's printing office on the Cornhill, Ipswich, was editor for the Religious Tract Society, producing various publications including the 'Boys Own' and 'Girls Own' papers. On leaving school Alfred studied art at Heatherleys before working as a steel engraver, but the attraction of painting remained with him and he started to work in oils but from about 1874 in watercolour, with his first studio in Fleet Street and later was at Lincoln's Inn. He exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Club from 12 New Court, Lincoln's Inn, London in 1882, three watercolours 'Marine Villa'; 'At Walberswick, Suffolk' and 'Surrey Farmyard' and in 1883 an oil 'Spring Time, Surrey' and two watercolours 'Evening at Walberswick, Suffolk' and 'On the Beach, Polpero, Cornwall'. He also exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists from 1877 including in 1881 from the same address two watercolours his 'Evening at Walberswick' also 'A Sketch at Walberswick'. He married at Bolton, Lancashire in 1885, 27 year old Elizabeth Annie Crompton (1858-1945) and in 1891 an 'artist painter' living at Burleigh Villas, 20 Fortis Green Road, Finchley with their 5 year old son Leonard, born at Hampstead on 5 March 1886. In 1895, Alfred set out with a friend to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats writing of his experiences and illustrating the work with his own drawings which were serialised in the 'Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News'. As his work became more profitable he was able to purchase a house with sufficient room to have a studio at home and in 1911 was living at Westfield, Salisbury Avenue, Finchley with his 52 year old wife and two sons Leonard 25 and Edgar Allan 19. He settled into the pattern of travelling for up to three months of the year, mainly during the summer, making sketches and taking photographs then spending the winter months transferring what he had seen into paintings. He was commissioned to provide illustrations for other publications, including Ditchfield's 'The Cottage and Village Life of Rural England' for which he provided 71 pictures also providing pictures for another of Ditchfield's books 'The City Companies of London and their Good Works' but perhaps most significant was the work 'The Historic Thames' for which the text was written by Hilaire Belloc. The postcard publisher Raphael Tuck began to produce images from Quinton's watercolours in a series called 'Village Crosses' however another publisher Joseph R. Salmon of Sevenoaks in Kent, already producing a series of post cards, employing local artists to produce pictures of their neighbourhoods, but the work of Alfred Quinton came to his attention when he approached Quinton to travel specifically to record picturesque places in Britain which became a productive partnership. Alfred worked mainly in England and Wales right through the First World War and produced in the region of 2,000 views for Salmon. Quinton exhibitied at Birmingham Royal Society of British Artists, Dudley Gallery, Dowdeswell Gallery, Grosvenor Gallery, Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Hibernian Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters he also exhibited at the Royal Academy but his work was later banned by the Royal Academy because they disapproved of his 'commercialisation' of art. His original paintings for the Thames book and two of his works were purchased by the Duke and Duchess of Kent. His youngest son Edgar died in 1912, aged just 21 and Alfred died at Barnet, North London in 1934, aged 81. His wife died in 1945, aged 86 and eldest son Leonard died in 1981. (Copsey-Suffolk Book Trades (Ipswich 2011) and 'The Rural England of A R Quinton' (London 1978)






Works by This Painter