Joseph Walter West VPRWS, SMP

Joseph Walter West VPRWS, SMP

1860 - 1933

Born 1860 in Hull, Yorkshire; Died 1933 in Northwood, Middlesex

Painter of historical genre scenes and landscapes in oils and watercolours; also a lithographer and poster designer.

Joseph Walter West first studied painting at St John's Wood School of Art in 1883. He then continued his academic training at the Royal Academy Schools between 1884 and 1887, and later at the Académie Julian in Paris. West was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy between 1885 and 1933 and was elected a member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1904. He acted as the society's Vice President (VPRWS) between 1918 and 1920. West also designed a number of posters for the Underground Group between 1916 and 1931 which, as their subjects, focus on everyday rural activities. Example titles include Harvest (1916), Gardening at Dawn and Dusk (1917), Pastures New (1931), End of the Day (1931) and Farmyard (1931) and all depict colourful, idealised visions of countryside living and were used to encourage residents of the city to go on day trips to the country.

West also produced a number of animal themed paintings near lake Como, which he sketched and painted during summers he spent visiting the Italian lakes. One of these paintings is held by the Tate collection (Sunshine, Breeze, and Blossom: Lake Como, exhibited 1913. N02934).

Benjamin Angwin - October 2014