Herbert Johnson Harvey Biography

Herbert Johnson Harvey




Painter, printmaker, and metalsmith Herbert Johnson Harvey was born in London, England, in 1884, the son of landscape painter John Rabone Harvey. He studied at the Birmingham School of Art where he earned accolades for his paintings. He was granted a scholarship to attend the Royal College of Art which in turn awarded him a traveling scholarship to study in Italy. This proved to be a greatly inspirational time for the young artist, whose exposure to the Old Masters would prompt a lifelong homage to Rembrandt in his compositions of everyday people. He became a full member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1924.

In addition to fine arts, Harvey was a decorative architectural designer, creating the estucheons for the Marble Arch in London. During World War I he became friends with Winston Churchill, to whom he gave painting lessons and of whose wife, Clementine, he painted a portrait. He exhibited regularly with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and in 1910 was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Addtional participation included the Paris Salon and shows in Liverpool and Hull. 

Though widely appreciated for his intimate, penetrating portraits of the wealthy and the poor alike, little else is found on his life. His work can be found in museums and private collections throughout the world. He died in London in 1928.