Portrait of Sir Frank Short

Portrait of Sir Frank Short




Portrait of Frank Short

Signed with initials l.r.: J B Souter Oil on board Unframed

21.5 by 5 cm., 8 by 6 in.

Provenance: By descent in the artist’s family. The present work is a study for the artist’s 1944 portrait of the etching Sir Frank Short, now in the collection of the Royal Academy, London.

Francis Job “Frank” Short (1857-1945) was a British artist, printmaker and teacher of printmaking largely responsible for reviving the practices of mezzotint and aquatint engraving. He became head of the Engraving School at the Royal College of Art and was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1885. In 1910 he succeeded Sir Seymour Haden as President. There is a painting of a polychrome saint with poppy heads, and other flowers on the reverse of this panel. John “Jack” Bulloch Souter was born in Aberdeen where he studied at Gray’s School of Art. After winning the Allan Fraser Scholarship he went on to study for four years at Hospitalfield Art College in Arbroath. In 1912, on the recommendation of Sir George Clausen he was awarded the Byrne Travelling Scholarship which enabled him to tour France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. During this trip he was particularly impressed and influenced by the work of Velazquez, Vermeer and Chardin. After serving in the Gordon Highlanders and the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I he moved to London in 1922 and gained a reputation as a painter of still life subjects and fashionable portraits. His sitters included Ivor Novello and Gladys Cooper. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1914 and at the Royal Scottish Academy, Fine Art Society, Redfern Gallery and elsewhere. During World War II he worked some of the time in the Post Office Censorship Department as a translator but spent the majority of his time restoring paintings at Windsor Castle. He returned to live in Aberdeen in 1952. Works by him are in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery and elsewhere.


Height 21.5 cm / 8 "
Width 15 cm / 6"