William Matthison (1853-1926)

Matthison was born near Birmingham and attended King Edward’s School in the city. He learned drawing at the Birmingham Central School of Art and then became a pupil of Birmingham artist Edward Watson. He became a professional artist in 1875 and moved to Oxfordshire a few years after; this was where he had the opportunity to produce many of the Oxford views for which he is known today. In 1902 he moved to Park Town in Oxford and was commissioned by Robert Peel to paint more than seventy views of the University of Oxford, which were subsequently made into postcards. Priced at seven for a shilling, they were only available from E Cross of Pembroke Street (a long-since closed business). Raphael Tuck & Sons also commissioned him to produce postcard scenes of Cambridge.

Matthison’s views of Oxford were later printed in Fifty Watercolour Drawings of Oxford, published in 1912 by Alden & Co.


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