Sidney Richard Percy England
3-22-1821 London, ENG – 4-13-1886 Surrey, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
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Sidney Richard Percy father was a well-known landscape artist, who taught him how to paint; otherwise he received no formal instruction. Although his early paintings were signed "Sidney Williams", he used the name "Percy" from the age of 20 onwards to differentiate himself from the other artists in his family.
Sidney Richard Percy lived and worked with his father and brothers in a communal artist setting in a large house with a studio that they shared. Situated close to the Thames River, there were quiet marshes beneath windmills, farms where horses pulled plows, and wheel-rutted dirt roads running past country inns or through shaded glens. These were the scenes that the Williams brothers captured on canvas during their early years as painters.
He was extremely popular during these years, which brought him sufficient income to indulge the extravagant tastes of his wife, which included a carriage and several servants.
Sidney Richard Percy spent his final years in Surrey, where his knee was injured when he was thrown from a horse in a riding accident. When his leg had to be amputated as a consequence, he died prematurely at his home of a heart attack due complications from the operation. Though once quite wealthy, his finances at the time of his death were no longer robust, and his widow had to be supported in her final years by her son-in-law.
His art interests were not limited to painting, and Sidney Richard Percy was also an amateur photographer, in a day when photography was new and exciting, yet still a poorly understood medium. A classic example is Storm Gathering on Cader Idris, North Wales, which he exhibited in 1856 at the Royal Academy, and which has the same gypsy girls in it as one of seven of his photographs in the Victoria and Albert Museum. In fact, this painting is one of the ones singled out for some of the aforementioned criticism. These same girls appear in his 1861 work A Rest on the Roadside, and they appear again, but reversed, in his 1873 version of Llyn-y-Ddinas, North Wales, showing that he repeated themes when convenient.
Today his work is much sought after, and Sidney Richard Percy's better paintings bring much higher prices in auction than any of those of his brethren in the Williams family.
Art Movement: Victorian Classicism Art
Influences: Edward Williams
Traveled: Wales, Italy, Switzerland, France, Scotland