Sir William Russell Flint was a painter, etcher and illustrator and was born in Edinburgh in 1880. He studied at Daniel Stewart's College, Edinburgh and at the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a firm of lithographers where he remained for six years. He then studied under Hodder at evening classes at the Royal Institution School of Art.
Flint came to London in 1900 and was first employed to do medical drawing but later was appointed to the staff of The Illustrated London News. During this time he was studying at Heatherley's School in the evenings and he also became interested in book illustration. In 1910 he was elected ROI but soon resigned and took up etching which he studied at Hammersmith School of Art in 1914. He was elected ARWS 1914, RWS 1917, ARA 1924, RE 1931, RA 1933 and PRWS 1936-56. Flint painted extensively in Scotland, Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland, spending much time on the Continent.