William Lee Hankey RWS., R.I., R.O.I., R.E. (British, 1869 -1952) ‘A Market Scene in Picardy’. Oil on canvas, signed lower right.
William Lee-Hankey was born in Chester, England in 1869. A painter and etcher of landscapes, figure subjects, and harbour scenes, he studied at Chester School of Art (now the Department of Art and Design at University of Chester) under Walter Schroeder, and the Royal College of Art. Following this he travelled to France to study the works of leading European artists, including Lues Bastien-Lepage, whose work greatly influenced Lee-Hankey’s depiction of rural families and scenes. He began exhibting in 1895, first with the Royal Academy in London. He held the position of president of the London Sketch Club from 1902 to 1904. Lee-Hankey spent some years in France, studying the landscapes and people of Normandy and Cote d’Azur. After witnessing the effects of the German invasion of France and Belgium in 1914, his work began to focus on the French refugees whose lives were rarely depicted in artistic circles. From 1915 to 1918, he served with with the Artists Rifles, a volunteer regiment of the British Army.
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