A boy from the port

“Painter, etcher, raconteur and rifle shot…”

Who’s who 1901 description of Mortimer Menpes

Tite Street, in the London Suburb of Chelsea, is legendary as a home of those who are interesting, artistic and bohemian. In recent times individuals such as The Rolling Stones, Lady Di and upmarket soccer players have resided there. In 1880 it was a tight knit, slightly scruffy enclave for artists. Those living there included James McNeil Whistler, Oscar Wilde, John Singer Sargeant and Walter Sickert. All were controversial characters, Sickert even being a prime suspect for Jack the Ripper in the eyes of many. Also living there , apparently in the thick of it, was the artist Mortimer Menpes. Menpes was Australian, born locally in Port Adelaide. His watercolours, oils and etchings were prolific, often depicting scenes from his extensive travels in Asia. Most were captured en plein air, making Menpes an early version of what would later be known as an Adelaide Urban Sketcher. #firstofourkind #letsmakelemonade

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