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Sir William Russell Flint

1880 - 1969

Sir William Russell Flint
©2019 Gazetteer for Scotland

Sir William Russell Flint

Popular artist and illustrator. Born in Edinburgh and raised in Portobello, Flint's father was an artist and designer. He was educated at Daniel Stewart's College and the Royal Institution School of Art in the city. Flint is best known for his watercolour studies of ballet and the female form. He worked for the Illustrated London News from 1903-7 and published books of his illustrations through until the late 1920s. Following service with the Royal Navy Air Service at an airship station on the River Clyde during the First World War, Flint travelled in France and Spain, which greatly influenced his future work. Flint was given membership of the Royal Academy in 1933. While a prolific artist, Flint took care with every detail of his paintings, using models for even the least significant figure in a large composition. His style was distinctive, with a concentration on textures and light. He was knighted in 1947.

Flint was actively working on his autobiography when he died and continued to paint right up until the end. His style has been much imitated, but the inevitability of beautiful women in his compositions has ensured the continuing popularity of his work, which is greatly sought after. Prints of his work are only published under the strict control of his family.

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