Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of an artist (possibly Stanley Badmin), c.1925

SKU: 895
Signed with studio stamp to reverse, reference number 2/8 Oil on panel

Height – 61cm x Width – 46cm


The Artist’s Studio
Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.218.

The identity of the artist depicted remains unknown.

The paintings in the background suggest a link with an artist of the  Bloomsbury Group. The sitter bears a resemblance to Cecil Stephenson and Stanley Badmin – the latter of whom was a fellow student of Horton’s at the Royal College of Art.  But in addition to his Royal College of Art acquaintances  the sitter might well be an artist from  Ruskin College or The Artists’ International Association.

RCA, Working Mens College, AIA or Ruskin College.

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Percy Horton
1897 - 1970

Born in Brighton, Percy Horton attended the School of Art there from 1912-1916. During the First Word War he became a conscientious objector and was sentenced to two years hard labour in Carlton Prison, Edinburgh, from 1916-18. After the war, he took up his studies again at the Central School of Art 1918-20 and the Royal College of Art 1922-24. In 1925 he was appointed art master at Bishop’s Stortford College and also began giving classes at the Working Men’s College in London.

As a member of the AIA (Allied International Artists) during the 1930’s he believed that artists should be socially committed and he painted a series of portraits of the unemployed during the Depression. He taught at the RCA between 1930 and 1949. During the Second World War the college was evacuated to Ambleside and he produced a series of paintings of the Lake District and its people. At the request of the War Artists Advisory Committee he drew portraits and painted scenes in war factories and this collection is now in the Imperial War Museum. In 1949 Horton was elected Ruskin Master of Drawing at Oxford University and remained in this post until his retirement in 1964. His favourite areas for his paintings were the South Downs around Firle and the farmsteads of Provence.

His style was restrained and traditional; in 1973 came this quote – “the landscapes of his maturity are carefully composed and closely observed, the artist’s strong sense of form and pictorial structure making them serious works which require time to assimilate and appreciate. As a figure draughtsman, he was outstanding and his portrait drawings and paintings are the work of a sensitive artist of intense concentration, intellectual power and human understanding.”

Percy Horton painted many scenes of Dulwich . He and his wife, Lydia lived at 11 Pond Cottages for many years. His neighbours were fellow artists James and Margaret Fitton who lived at 10 Pond Cottages. After the Hortons left the two cottages were amalgamated and the Fittons took over the entire property. One of Horton’s pupils at the RCA was the North American-born artist, R.B. Kitaj, who also lived in Dulwich, in the 1960’s, in Burbage Road.

Horton exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Arts Council travelling exhibitions, Royal Society of British Artists, New English Art Club, Ashmolean Museum and the Brighton Art Gallery. A memorial retrospective was held at the Mall Galleries in 1971. His work may be seen in the permanent collections of the Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Arts Council, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge., and a number of city art galleries.

We are grateful to Professor Edward Chaney for assistance.


SKU: 5971

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

‘On this occasion there was the usual confusion’ 1925


SKU: 5372

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Profile portrait of a girl, head and shoulders, late 1920’s


SKU: 5143

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Farmscene , 1932


SKU: 5134

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Yougoslavia, 1947


SKU: 5136

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Peasant girl


SKU: 5020

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Study for Kensington Gardens, circa 1925


SKU: 4985

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait study


SKU: 4981

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of Joan Jenner, circa 1930


SKU: 4879

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of Margaret Binyon


SKU: 4880

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of Kay, the artist’s daughter


SKU: 4881

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

The Artist’s daughter Kay restiing


SKU: 4878

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of Joan Jenner seated


SKU: 4257

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of J.A. Leach, of Messrs A V Roe of Manchester,1943


SKU: 4247

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Red roof and chimneys across orchard, c.1925


SKU: 4249

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Plein air scetch of trees, c.1925


SKU: 4197

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Trees in a park, circa 1920


SKU: 4191

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Chianti Bottle with Apple, circa 1922


SKU: 906

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Self Portrait at Easel – c.1940


SKU: 910

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Tree-lined road, houses beyond – circa 1925


SKU: 903

Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Portrait of a Young Girl – circa 1925