Categories --> All Artists A-Z --> SHARP, Dorothea (1874-1955)
Having studied and painted in France, Dorothea Sharp was clearly aware
of the work of Claude Monet and the Impressionists and her masterful use
of light and shade echoes the techniques of her French counterparts.
Her choice of subject matter and tender treatment of the children who
appear so often in her work is reminiscent of the work of the renowned
women Impressionists, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassat.
The Editor of The Artist praised Dorothea Sharp as 'one of England's
greatest living woman painters', and commented upon the particular
attraction of her art: 'No other woman artist gives us such joyful
paintings as she. Full of sunshine and luscious colour, her work is always
lively harmonious and tremendously exhilarating ... the chief attractions
of Miss Sharp's delightful pictures are her happy choice of subjects, and
her beautiful colour schemes. Rollicking children bathed in strong
sunlight, playing in delightful surroundings, her subjects appeal because
they are based on the joy of life. And she presents them equally happily,
with a powerful technique which enables her to make the most of her
wonderful sense of colour' (Harold Sawkins, Dorothea Sharp, ROI, RBA, The
Artist, April 1935, pp. 55-8).
Born at Dartford in Kent, it was not until the age of twenty-one that
Sharp seriously took up painting. The death of an uncle, who left her one
hundred pounds, enabled her to study at the art school run by C. E.
Johnson, RI, in Richmond, Surrey. She then attended the Regent Street
Polytechnic where she was greatly encouraged by Sir George Clausen and Sir
David Murray, visiting critics to the Polytechnic Sketch Club.
It was in Paris that Sharp achieved her complete artistic development.
There she studied under Castaluchio, 'from whom she states she learnt all
she knows'. It was the work of Claude Monet, however, that was to have a
profound and lasting effect on her art, resulting in the highly
impressionistic and spontaneous style that she was to adopt for the rest
of her life.
Sharp exhibited widely, at the Royal Academy 1901 1948, at the R.B.A. to
which she was elected in 1907, the R.O.I. elected member 1922, and at the
S.W.A. of which she was vice president. For much of her life Dorothea
Sharp lived at 22 Blomfield Road in West London, moving to St. Ives
in 1940-1946. She traveled widely in the 1920's and 1930's, visiting Cornwall,
the South of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, views of which appeared in
her Royal Academy exhibits.
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