STRUTT, William (1825-1915)

STRUTT, William (1825-1915)
came of a family of artists, his grandfather, Joseph Strutt, was a well-known author and artist, his father, William Thomas Strutt, was a good miniature painter. William Strutt was born in 1825 and studied art at Paris. He came to Australia in 1850 and was in Victoria on 6 February 1851, the date of "Black Thursday" when bushfires swept over the colony. He made a number of sketches which were used for a large picture representing animals and men fleeing from the fire, which he completed some 10 years later. He was an early member of the Victorian academy of fine arts, and showed a portrait of Major-general Macarthur (q.v.) at its exhibition held in 1857. He remained in Australia until 1862 when he returned to London and became a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1865 onwards. His large picture of "Black Thursday" was bought by an Adelaide dealer and exhibited throughout Australia. Strutt died at Wadhurst, Sussex, England, on 3 January 1915, in his ninetieth year, and was survived by a son, Alfred William Strutt, a painter of ability, and three daughters.
Strutt was a good draughtsman and an excellent painter, some of his early pictures have been compared with the best work of the Dutch school of genre painting, and his "Black Thursday" is a vigorous piece of work. He is represented in the Ballarat gallery, and interesting sketches by him will be found in the historical collection at the public library, Melbourne; the library, State parliament house, Melbourne; the Mitchell library, Sydney; and the Commonwealth national library at Canberra.
W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; The Connoisseur, vol. 41, p. 170; A. Graves, The Royal Academy Exhibiters; Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, vol. XXXII.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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