Frederick William Elwell (British painter) 1870 - 1958
Elwell studied art in Paris, in keeping with many British contemporaries such as the Newlyn School. The warm, dappled light that illuminates The First Born reveals his personal response to one aspect of French Impressionism. Overall, however, his realistic, technically skilled style remained constant throughout his career, during which he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy. In many ways his work continues the realism and idealisation typical of late Victorian narrative genre painting. * * * Mary Dawson Elwell (British painter) 1874 - 1952 Born Mary Bishop. She became Mary Dawson Holmes when she married Arthur Holmes, an oil broker. It was while nursing her sick husband, that she met Fred Elwell, the well known Beverley artist. He seems to have indicated that he would like Fred and Mary to marry after his death. This they did, in 1914. Mary's wealth (from her previous mariage) allowed her and Fred to travel (and paint) extensively on the continent. Mary was herself a very talented artist; she specialised in landscapes, street scenes and occasionally interiors, in contrast to Frederick's obsession with portraits and workinglife scenes. The couple lived together at Bar House, Beverley, for many years, although Mary maintained her own studio in Landress Lane. She suffered a series of strokes after 1945 and died in 1952. She is buried in Beverley Cemetery, off New Walk, where Fred was later laid to rest, in the same grave.