Glyn Warren Philpot

Glyn Warren Philpot

English artist, sculptor
Date of Birth: 05.10.1884
Country: Great Britain

Biography of Glynn Warren Philpot

Glynn Warren Philpot was an English artist and sculptor. He was born in 1884 in London, the fourth child of John Philpot and Jessie Carpenter Philpot. His mother passed away when he was seven years old. At the age of fifteen, Philpot enrolled in the Lambeth School of Art. He also studied in Rouen and Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens, during which time he converted to Catholicism. Starting from 1904, he exhibited his paintings at the Royal Academy and had his first solo exhibition in the same year.

In 1911, Glynn Philpot met artists Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, who introduced him to Robert Ross, who later helped him acquire commissions. Philpot served in the British infantry during World War I but was discharged in 1917 due to disability. In 1913, he met Vivian Forbes (1891-1937) on the battlefield, who became his lifelong partner. In 1917, Ross introduced Philpot to Siegfried Sassoon, who was recovering from an injury, and Philpot painted his portrait. Philpot supported young artists with advice and financial help, including Wilfred Owen's brother, Harold, whom he introduced to Siegfried Sassoon.

In 1923, at the age of 38, Glynn Philpot was elected to the Royal Academy. He traveled and worked in the United States, Europe, and North Africa in the 1920s. In 1927, he became a curator at the Tate Gallery. He had a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 1930 and served as one of the jurors at the International Exhibition of the Carnegie Institute, where he met Henri Matisse. In 1931, he moved to a studio in Paris and later traveled to Berlin with a young German artist named Karl-Heinz Müller.

Glynn Philpot passed away suddenly in 1937 at the age of 53 from a heart attack in London and was buried in Petersham. The day after Philpot's funeral, Vivian Forbes took a lethal dose of sleeping pills. Throughout his career, Philpot went through several phases while adhering to an academic approach to painting. He never strayed far from academicism, except perhaps in his last phase when he experimented with Impressionist techniques.

Philpot became well-known for his portraits and was one of the most sought-after British portrait artists of his time. His most famous portrait is of Siegfried Sassoon. He also painted portraits of Oswald Mosley, Stanley Baldwin, Frank Meyer, Oswald Birley, and Frank Combes. In the early 1920s, Philpot painted a portrait of King Fuad I of Egypt. His early portraits showed the influence of John Singer Sargent. Philpot was also known for his depictions of black men, with one of his most famous models being Henry Thomas, his servant for several years, whom he brought back from his trip to Tunisia. Over time, the artist increasingly portrayed male nudes.

In the early 1930s, Philpot changed his style, using lighter colors and simplifying and stylizing his compositions. These changes made his work less popular, and the number of commissions decreased. He began to paint more works with homoerotic content, which further alienated the public. In 1933, his painting "The Great Pan" was rejected by the Royal Academy as too explicit, and the artist subsequently destroyed it. However, in his later years, Philpot's popularity began to return, and he held four solo exhibitions in the last five years of his life. In 1985, the National Portrait Gallery in London organized a major retrospective of his work.