Dame Ethel Walker (1861 - 1951)

Dame Ethel Walker  was born in Edinburgh and studied at the Putney Art School for two years, then at the Westminster School of Art and finally at the Slade School of Fine Art between 1892 and 1894. Following her studies she travelled to Spain and then to Paris, having been strongly influenced by Velazquez. Manet and the Impressionists. She set up a studio in Chelsea from which she worked for the rest of her life. In 1900 she was elected the first woman member of the New English Art Club, and, exhibiting with the Club, she built a reputation as one of the oustanding British women artists of her generation. She is particularly renowned for her portraits, particularly of women, flower pieces, interiors, and seascapes in an idiosyncratic bright, vibrant Impressionistic style. She also produced large-scale decorative compositions depicting a Golden Age, of classical figures in idylic landscapes. From this series, Zone of Hate (1914-15) and the Zone of Love (1930-32) are both in the Tate Collection. She also produced sculptures around this theme. Dame Ethel Walker was elected ARA in 1940 and appointed DBE in 1943. She died in London in 1951.