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Dorothea Sharp, RBA, ROI, PSWA

(1874 - 1955)

Dorothea Sharp was born in Dartford, Kent in 1874. It was not until the age of twenty-one that Sharp seriously took up painting. The death of an uncle who left her £100 enabled her to study landscape painting at an art school in Richmond, run by Charles Edward Johnson, RI (1832-1913). She then attended the Regent Street Polytechnic where she was greatly encouraged by Sir George Clausen, RA, RWS, RI (1852-1944) and Sir David Murray, RA, HRSA, RSW, RI (1849-1933), visiting critics to the polytechnics sketch club, continuing her studies in Paris.

Sharp exhibited widely, at the Royal Academy between 1901 and 1948, at the Royal Society of British Artists to which she was elected in 1907, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters elected member 1922, and at The Society of Women Artists of which she was Vice President.

For much of her life Dorothea Sharp lived at 22 Blomfield Road in West London, moving to St. Ives in 1940-1946. She travelled widely in the 1920’s and 1930’s, visiting Cornwall, the South of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, views of which appeared in her Royal Academy exhibits. Dorothea Sharp epitomises the movement known as ‘British Impressionism’. She had studied and painted in France and was clearly aware of Claude Monet (1840-1926) and the Impressionists; the clarity of light, her novel use of colour, the spontaneity of her brushwork, define her as a significant figure in 20th century British painting.

Her works can be found in museums in: Bournemouth; Cardiff; Dundee; Harrogate; Hastings; Manchester; Newcastle and Penlee.