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William Powell Frith | Victorian Era painter

Frith [1819-1909] was an British painter, specialising in Genre subjects and panoramic narrative works of life in the Victorian Era.
He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1852.
He has been described as the "greatest British painter of the social scene since Hogarth.

Frith was born in 1819 in Aldfield, a village in North Yorkshire. His father was the house steward at Studley Royal. However, he soon moved on to become a hotel manager in Harrogate. The young William's artistic talent caught his father's attention and it was he who encouraged the boy. At 16 years of age Frith found himself down in London at the Sass Academy and in three years he gained a place at none other than the Royal Academy. His need for money meant that, whilst studying, he worked as a portrait painter. In 1838 he had his first picture exhibited in London at the British Institute and two years later "Twelfth Night" was shown at the Royal Academy of Art. For the whole of his life he enjoyed painting literary and historic scenes including Shakespeare.