Sir William Russell Flint, RA, PRWS 1880-1969

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.


During Flint's visit to Spain, he got extremely enthralled by their dancing performances who later on in his life tried to depict them frequently throughout his career. He is remembered to have enjoyed considerable commercial success but got little respect from the art critics, who were disturbed by a perceived crassness in his eroticized treatment of the female figure, clearly attempting to borrow similar works by Lawrence-Alma Tadema.


Flint also used to be a published author of short stories. In 1965, a collection of Flint's short stories was published as a limited edition of 500 titled Shadows in Arcady; for which Flint outlined the graphical layout and the illustrations. Preceding, Flint's famous and well-received story "The Angelus" got published in The Times newspaper. Flint is best known for being active as an artist and a writer until he passed away in London on 30 December 1969.


During Flint's whole lifetime, almost ninety years he fulfilled the role of devoted, loyal, and respect-giver husband and father, a smart medical illustrator, brave naval officer, profound etcher and mediocre painter. He was entertained by a dedicated following, was honoured, appreciated and admired by his peers, and knighted by his monarch.


In the aftermath, the First World War Flint contributed as a Lieutenant in the RNVR; Flint's wife, whom he tied knot in 1905, was daughter of the Fleet Paymaster J. T. Seuter and sister of Admiral Sir Murray Seuter. Flint moved to the RAF as a captain and performed duties from 1918 to 1919 as Admiralty Assistant Overseer Airships. Following the war, Flint dedicated full time to his career as an artist.


Flint's artwork is exhibited in various private and public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the lionized Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Flint kicked the bucket in London, England on December 30, 1969 at the age of 89, a renowned and prominent artist with many collectors.