William Percy French Biography and Works - Ross's Auctioneers & Valuers

William Percy French

William Percy  French

William Percy French was a landscape painter and illustrator born in Co. Roscommon in 1854. He was home-schooled and his tutor, Reverend James Rowntree said, ‘his outstanding qualities were wit and humour, patience, sympathy and a gentle kindness. He was highly endowed by nature, possessing a keen power of observation and good artistic talent.’ He studied at Trinity College, Dublin but claimed that his interests were the banjo, lawn tennis and watercolour painting rather than academic studies.

 

The beginning of Percy’s artistic career was after he viewed the annual exhibition of the Watercolour Society of Ireland. He believed he could paint just like them and so he submitted works successfully the following year. After leaving Trinity, he then worked as an engineer in Co. Cavan when he formed an entertainment group in his spare time and a sketching club to take advantage of the countryside, which was his favourite. French travelled all around Ireland, rarely passing by any town without visiting it.

 

In 1908, French exhibited works in London and was commissioned by the Royal Family to paint two works for the Queen of Spain. Through his work, we can see that he not only loved his home land, but also the people. He made a point to avoid politics at all cost as the conditions of society upset him. When he visited Glenveigh Castle in Donegal, he wrote in the visitors book, ‘Remember me is all I ask and yet if that remembrance proves a task – forget’.

 

Shortly after Percy’s death, the Irish Times wrote, ‘he was a painter of great charm who preferred painting to writing as a means of expression. He was the most industrious of men. He never seemed to rest.’ 

William Percy French - Auction results

There have been 40 artwork(s) sold in previous auctions
  • Lot 144 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 144 Sale Date: 04 December 2013
    Result: £6,000
  • Lot 76 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 76 Sale Date: 02 October 2007
    Result: £3,800
  • Lot 259 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 259 Sale Date: 28 January 2009
    Result: £3,800
  • Lot 2 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 2 Sale Date: 28 January 2009
    Result: £3,600
  • RIVER & BOGLANDS, CONNEMARA by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    RIVER & BOGLANDS, CONNEMARA Sale Date: 08 October 2014 Medium: Watercolour Drawing Size: H 10" x W 13"
    Result: £3,200
  • THE LONELY TREE, CONNEMARA by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    THE LONELY TREE, CONNEMARA Sale Date: 04 December 2014 Medium: Watercolour Drawing Size: H 10" x W 13"
    Result: £3,000
  • Lot 3A by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 3A Sale Date: 03 October 2012
    Result: £3,000
  • Lot 128 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 128 Sale Date: 02 October 2007
    Result: £2,600
  • Lot 138 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 138 Sale Date: 26 March 2014
    Result: £2,500
  • Lot 13 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 13 Sale Date: 06 October 2010
    Result: £2,400
  • Lot 164 by William Percy  French at Ross's Auctions
    Lot 164 Sale Date: 05 October 2011
    Result: £2,400