Inspiration + Wisdom

Get To Know Artist William Henry Margetson

January 11, 2018
Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

Afternoon Tea by William Henry Margetson

It has been about a year since I’ve featured an artist to know on my blog, so I’m really excited to feature another artist today. I’m by no means an art expert. I actually think art is a little intimidating, but I’m drawn to the arts, like music, dancing, photography and, as with today’s artist, painting.

I’ve developed a comfort level with art even though I can’t debate the finer details of a painting or the technique. What I like about art is its way of communicating to the viewer, so I’ve developed 3 things to ask myself when looking at art:

  • What is the artist saying about with this piece?
  • What is the artist showing me with this piece?
  • What is the artist trying to make me feel with this piece?

With those questions in mind, here’s a bit more about William Henry Margetson:

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

A Summer’s Row by William Henry Margetson

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

At the Cottage Door by William Henry Margetson

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

In the Linen Closet by William Henry Margetson

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

Lady of the House by William Henry Margetson

William Henry Margetson

William Henry Margetson was an English painter and illustrator born in London in December 1861. He’s best known (and made his living) as an portrait artist featuring beautiful women in Victorian England. He painted in oils and watercolors. He married Helen Hatton, also an artist, had three children and died in England in 1940 at the age of 78.

Why I Like Margetson’s Work

If I ask myself the questions above, I find that I’m drawn to Margetson’s depictions of everyday life. Granted, the everyday life he’s portraying is of upperclass, young Victorian beauties surrounded by flowers, wearing pretty dresses and enjoying the finer things in life. His scenes are kind of dreamy, romantic and serene. What I really like are the details he paints around his subjects—their homes, the vases of flowers, the different kinds of china, the ornate mirrors in the background. All of the details add up to give me in 2018 a small glimpse into the homes and way of life for his subjects well over one hundred years ago.

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

The Red Hammock by William Henry Margetson

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

The Seashore by William Henry Margetson

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

Nude on a Beach by William Henry Margetson

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

Heather Hickerson Astleford | William Henry Margetson | www.sunflowermagnolia.com

As far as I can tell by reading about him, William Henry Margetson had some success and made a decent living by being mostly a portrait painter and book illustrator. His work wasn’t groundbreaking or revolutionary, but it has stood the test of time. His art gives us a small glimpse into the world of his subjects, their homes, their interests, their fashions, etc., without being exaggerated or over the top. Meaning I can imagine what these scenes must have looked like in real life as he painted them; the women look like women I would see today. He shows us in modern times a glimpse into the life of a young, beautiful and privileged woman, and he does it with a hint of romance and dreaminess.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know artist William Henry Margetson as much as I did. Let me know if you like his work in the comments below!

Joie de vivre and pretty pictures,

Heather

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