Sir Edward John Poynter (1836-1919)
Edward Poynter was born in Paris, the son of an architect, and after being educated at Westminster and Ipswich Grammar School, he went to Rome, where he met Leighton. Having decided to take up art as a career, as a direct result of meeting Leighton, he studied in Paris under Gleyre, who had been a penniless artist before he opened an atelier, when he rapidly became a famous teacher. In 1859 Poynter returned to London, and for the next few years struggled to make a living from his painting with indifferent results. He desperately needed the RA to take one of his pictures in order to establish his name. Eventually Faithful until Death was accepted by the RA in 1865. This picture, which shows a Roman soldier doggedly remaining at his post during the destruction of Pompeii, was a great success, and still remains Poynter's most famous work. This was followed by The Catapault and Atlanta's Race. Among his famous paintings are The Fortune Teller and The Meeting between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
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