SOUTHALL, Joseph Edward

1861 - 1944

Joseph Edward Southall - self-portrait

Joseph Edward Southall was born at Portland Road, St Mary's, Nottingham on 23 August 1861, only child of Joseph Sturge Southall (1824-23 September 1862), a wholesale grocer & druggist, and his wife Eliza Maria née Baker (11 June 1833-7 November 1922) who married at Birmingham in 1860. His father died at Nottingham 1862, just over year after his son's birth when young Southall and his mother returned to live with his mother's family at Edgbaston, but by 1871 they were living on their own account at Gough Road, Edgbaston, Kings Norton, Worcestershire. Joseph was educated at the Quaker schools of Ackworth and at Bootham School in York and in 1878 articled to architects' Martin & Chamberlain, whilst also studying painting part-time at the Birmingham School of Art, the then Principal of the School of Art, Edward Taylor (1838-1911) was a pioneer of Arts and Crafts education and friend of William Morris (1834-1896) and Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), and his employer, architect John Henry Chamberlain (1831-1883) was a founder and trustee of the Guild of St George. Having left Martin & Chamberlain, Southall undertook several tours in Europe, visiting Bayeux, Rouen and Amiens in Northern France 1862-1863, then spent thirteen weeks in Italy, visiting Pisa, Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Rome, Bologna, Padua, Venice and Milan, learning of the 16th century art of tempera painting and, on his return to Birmingham, Southall conducted his first experiments in tempera painting at the Birmingham School of Art. A leading figure in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century revival of painting in tempera, Southall was the leader of the Birmingham Group of Artist-Craftsmen and in 1901 was one of the founder members of the Society of Painters in Tempera. In June 1903, Southall married his first cousin Anna Elizabeth Baker (1 February 1859-29 October 1947), known as Bessie, who had been his close companion since his youth. Joseph and Bessie worked in close partnership, with Joseph painting on panel or on silk which his wife tacked and sewed to a wedged frame which she then applied up to eight coats of gesso, smoothed to an ivory finish and sealed with two washes of size. For most of the thirty-four summers following their marriage, the Southall's came to Southwold which resulted in a comprehensive portrait of this Suffolk town, which included 'Up from the Sea', a tribute to three generations of a Southwold fishing family and a double portrait of the Southall's searching Southwold beach for semi-precious stones. Southall was elected an Associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1898 and Member in 1902. In 1939, an artist painter & mural decorator, living at 13 Charlotte Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham with his wife Anna and in the same year elected President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and remained in this post until his death. Joseph Edward Southall died at 13 Charlotte Road, Edgbaston on 6 November 1944.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 13 Charlotte Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham
1895 962 Cinderella - watercolour
1896 1542 Isabel - drawing/etching
1897 1695 Man in a Fez - drawing/etching
1923 692 The Barquentine - watercolour
1924 761 Chartres - watercolour
1925 804 Hotel de Ville, Sion - watercolour
1930 945 The Return - tempera
1932 845 A Sunny Day by the Sea - tempera
1933 899 Portrait - tempera
1934 866 Girl's Head
1935 955 A barque in the Harbour - tempera
         1199 Study for Portrait - pen and wash
from 3 Orchard Studios, Brook Green, West London
1936 383 Chelsea Conversation
from 13 Charlotte Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham
1937 846 Passing Polruan - tempera
         861 Portrait - tempera
1938 868 The Tower of San Vitale, Venice - tempera
1939 764 Jason and Medea - tempera
1941 619 The Chase - tempera
1942 584 The Great Bridge of Cahors - tempera

Works by This Artist