EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: Manners… Returning Home


William Manners was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1860.

Unusually for most artists he didn’t show any particular desire or ability to paint at an early age and didn’t even go to any recognised art college.

He lived in numerous places such as Otley, Shipton, Crosshills and Sutton Coldfield before settling eventually in Westmoreland in The Lake District.

He painted and drew throughout his early adult life, but more as a hobby than as a potential career.

However, as a completely self-taught artist he developed his skills and started to get recognised, selling his work all over the North of England.

He really began to flourish from about 1890 until 1920… This is when most of his exhibiting was done and he was very successful.

He exhibited three works at the Royal Academy entitled The Sun’s Last Gleam, Homewards and Among the Yorkshire Hills.

His environment of the Lake District became the basis for some of his most beautiful work.

He was clearly enamoured with the countryside up there as so many people are. During this busy period in his painting career he also exhibited a further two works at the Royal Scottish Academy, 41 works at the Royal Society of British Artists in London, 10 at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, 18 at the Walker Gallery in Liverpool and another two at Manchester City Art Gallery.

Manners is best known for his depiction of working people, such as farmers, shepherds, foretsers, horsemen, etc., going about their daily life in beautifully recognised countryside settings.

His attention to detail is second to none and the beauty within his paintings is clear to anyone who sees them. Manners was rightly elected to the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) in 1893.

This wonderful painting is of two people returning home after a days labour one riding on the back of their shire horse the other walking beside.

Another figure is working away in the surrounding forestry, whilst a couple of birds fly into the distance overhead.

The painting is typically signed “W Manners” to the bottom left of the picture in capitals. It is sympathetically mounted with a gold mount in a gilded gusso frame.

The mount is titled “Returning Home W Manners RBA”.

There is also some provenance to the back of the frame with evidence of this painting having been sold in 1994 by Andrew Hilditch.

This painting is available to view and/or purchase in my art gallery in Holme Grange Craft Village. It is listed at £700, a very reasonable price for an original work by this artist.

Alternatively, we now offer a leasing arrangement, so this along with all of our paintings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.

This piece, along with many other great works, is available to view, purchase or rent at AntiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Village or online at www.antiqart.co.uk or call us on 0118 327 5421 for further information.

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