Paul Ayshford Methuen, 4th Baron Methuen of Corsham (1886 -1974)
Painter, zoologist and landowner, he was the first child of Field Marshal Paul Sandford Methuen, 3rd Baron. After Eton and reading Engineering and Zoology at New College, Oxford, he worked in the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria collecting and describing southern African species. He served with the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry in both the First and Second World Wars, moving to the Procurement and Fine Art branch in 1944, (the ‘Monuments Men’ of the 2014 film) set up to protect works of art after the invasion.
He had studied drawing at Eton and sporadically afterwards, but in 1927 he attended art classes given by Walter Sickert which influenced his style; his preferred subjects were urban views or scenes with buildings, plants and animals. During the Second World War he painted for the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, several of his works being held by the Imperial War Museum, including impressive paintings of invasion craft under construction in the London docks. After the war he devoted his life to his ancestral seat, Corsham Hall, restoring it, acquiring further works for it, and giving it to the Bath Academy of Art. Latterly it was acquired by Bath Spa University. He became a Royal Academician in 1972.
His works are in major collections including the Tate, Royal Academy, National Portrait Gallery, City of London, Birmingham Museums, Wellcome Collection, Government Art Collection and National Maritime Museum.