William Arthur Breakspeare (British painter) 1855 - 1914
William Arthur Breakspeare was an artist from Birmingham, England. Breakspeare lived in Edgbaston, Birmingham until the age of 22. In 1877 he moved to central Birmingham on Paradise Street. He was closely associated with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) gallery, exhibiting 34 works from 1874 to 1899. His work covered many genres including genre, portrait, figure and 18th-century costume pieces and landscape. Breakspeare spent time in Paris, moving there in 1879. Whilst living there he exhibited 'An Eastern Maid' at the RBSA, perhaps showing an influence of Orientalism from his stay. However his stay was short and moved to Haverstock Hill in London a few years later in 1881. He is understood to have spent the rest of his life there. As well as his training in Paris, Breakspeare was initially trained at the Birmingham Government School of Design. In his time Breakspeare exhibited around eight works at the Royal Academy in London from 1883 to 1893, including 'To Gretna Green' and 'Bathers'. He died at his home at the age of 58 in May 1914. Although he has never been widely recognised for his art, in his time he was a significant member of not only the RBSA but also the Birmingham art circle.