Byam Shaw was one of the artists who sought to maintain the traditions of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the 1890's and early twentieth Century, a period when books and exhibitions had made their works well known. He chose a comparable range of subjects, from modern life and poetry; indeed his paintings were frequently inspired by the verse of Dante Gabriel or Christina Rossetti. These include Silent Noon (Leighton House), Loves Baubles (Walker Library) and The Boer War (Birmingham CM &AG). He painted in a detailed and realistic style, aided by many fine studies, and used pure pigments to obtain colour combinations of a startling brilliance. He was born in Madras, son of a British civil servant, but returned with his family aged six. He was educated at the St John's Wood Art School, and from 1890 at the Royal Academy Schools. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1893 and also produced many pictures for the dealers Dowdeswells. He was an occasional exhibitor at the other London and provincial exhibitions, and was elected member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 1889, of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1899, and Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1913. He was a prolific illustrator of books and short stories. His work in this field includes the thirty-nine volumes Chiswick Shakespeare. He was also a dedicated art teacher, and in 1910 founded the independent London Art School, which still bears his name.