He studied at the Herkomer School in Bushey 1892-1894. For some time afterwards he stayed on in Bushey, renting one of the Meadow Studios (number 10).
His future wife, Heather SUTCLIFFE, started at the Herkomer School in the same year as Thompson - and he painted a portrait of her which was shown at the RA in 1894. She was two years older, being born on December 13th 1868.
He fell ill and was diagnosed as possibly suffering from TB so he went to South Africa for the warmer climate. Heather could not afford to go with him. In South Aftrica he missed Heather so much that he decided to have the portriat of her shipped over. The ship sank and her cargo was lost, so Thompson was paid compensation- which was enough to pay for a ticket for Heather to join him. They were married in South Africa and their son was born c 1898.
They moved to Cornwall in 1903, moving from Newlyn up into Oakhill Cottage, at the top of Lamorna, on the through road near Trewoofe. Thompson continued to paint, as did his wife. They captured the beauty of the landscape in a series of canvases that are unexpectedly impressive.
In1905 Thompson was appointed the first curator of the WATTS GALLERY at Compton, Guildford. It was a prestigious post. Mrs Thompson managed the pottery, which was very busy. Thompson saw the construction of the sculpture gallery and looked after the great Watts legacy. One aspect was a school and workshop for clay sculpture. Students for this were based at The Hostel at Compton. The Thompsons lived on site in the house which is still used by the curator today. They remained there for a decade.
IN 1915 they moved back to the far west of Cornwall. They set up home at Chyvarrian, on the road beyond Lamorna, leading towards Lands End, above the beautiful Penberth Valley . In 1927 the Western Morning News praised a marine painting shown at Newlyn
He became a familiar figure, walking around the area in an distinctive old felt hat. Heather died in 1936.
Thompson died while staying at Worthing. His body was brought back for burial at Sennen (very prominent memorial).
Chyvarrian had been leased. Many paintings were destroyed as the studio was cleared.
While in Lamorna, the artist and his wife Heather (nee Sutcliffe) lived in Oakhill Cottage and Chyvarrian. In 1937 at NAG he showed Near Land's End.
Painter of genre, portrait, landscape and marines
works and access
Works include: Twilight and Silvery Night (1905); The Traveller (1924); the flung spray, and the blown spume (1926); The Cormorant's Cave (1926); The Cauldron (1928); Near Land's End (1937)
WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE- LAMBETH PALACE, LONDON
SAMUEL AUGUSTUS BARNETT (1914) WADHAM COLLEGE OXFORD as after G.F.Watts
WOMAN HOLDING ROSES: HARRIS MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY, PRESTON
Rev HUGH STOWELL SALFORD ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM
RA(10); L (2); NAG December 1924, Spring 1926, July 1926, March 1927, Summer 1928, Summer 1929
He exhibited ten times at the Royal Academy and twice at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
Thompson's RA exhibits were:
1894: no. 350 - Portrait of Miss Heather Sutcliffe
1907: no 309 - Twixt Love and Duty
1908: no 988 - The September Moon
1910: no 414 - The Isle of Dreams
1911: no 107 - A Cloud pageant
1913: no 830 - Francis Barraud Esq
no 895 - A Patient heart
1914: no 452 - Roses and Vine Leaves
1916: no 615 - The Silver Cloud
1923: no 94 - The Wake of the Ship
1903: cat 847: A Foretaste of Spring oil
1906: cat 176: A Wayside Halt oil
misc further info
The above information has been submitted by the author and gallery owner, Viv Hendra, Truro. Many thanks for this researched information.
The Cornishman 24 & 31 Mar 1926, 7 Jul 1926; Western Morning News March 1927
Cornishman & Cornish Telegraph 12 Jul 1928, 10 Jul 1929
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p281)
Hendra, Viv (2011) Correspondence
Johnson & Greutzner
NAG Sales records (see Hardie 2009 for repr)
Newton et al Painting at the Edge
Wormleighton A Painter Laureate