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Henry Courtney Selous: Artist

Posted in Art, Artist on Sunday, 31 January 2016

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Henry Courtney Selous was a British painter, illustrator and lithographer.

picture, Henry Courtney Selous, painter, illustrator, artist, Macbeth, Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Macbeth, illustrated by Henry Courtney Selous

Born in Deptford, London, in 9 May 1803, Selous was the third son of Gideon Slous (1777-1839) who, as George Slous, was a Flemish portrait and miniature painter. Henry’s brothers included Frederick Lokes Slous, who became Chairman of the London Stock Exchange; and Angiolo Robson Slous, the playwright who penned True to the Core: A Story of the Armada.

Henry was educated at the Royal Academy Schools and exhibited his first work at the Academy. His first four contributions were studies of animals before he switched to human portraiture. Most of his early works were signed Slous, but he adopted the name Selous in the 1830s.

In the 1840s he began painting historical subjects, winning £200 for his submission to the New Palace of Westminster cartoon competition for the design of frescoes for the new building in 1843. His paintings also recorded contemporary events, such as The Opening of The Great Exhibition (1851) and The Glorious Charge of the Heavy Brigade (1855), which depicted the Battle of Balaclava. He also produced illustrations for Shakespeare and John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Selous was married to Emily Elizabeth Bone in 1837 and had four daughters: Jane, Maria Louisa, Emily Elizabeth and Annie Maria.

Selous, who lived at 28 Gloucester Road, London,  died at Winsford Tower, Beaworthy, North Devon, the house of his son-in-law, George Webb Medley (husband of Maria Louisa Selous), on 24 September 1890, aged 88.

Many more pictures by Henry Courtney Selous can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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