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Percival Anderson

(1885-1936)
Lieutenant Percival Anderson

Lieutenant Percival Anderson, the famous artist whose pencil portraits of beautiful women were very well known

Lieutenant Thomas Percival Anderson was born in York in 1885 and studied at York School of Art, Frazer College of Arbroath and in Paris after which he worked primarily as a portrait painter of, according to The Tatler, “beautiful women”.

In October 1917, The Tatler announced it would be featuring a series of portraits by Anderson, who was at that time serving as an office in the Royal Army Service Corps. Anderson’s sitters included prominent senior staff of the British Army such as General Sir Nevil Macready, who was adjutant-general of the British Expeditionary Force and responsible for overseeing the registering of graves and the burial of the dead overseas.

Other Anderson subjects include Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Lloyd, responsible for defending London from Zeppelin attack, Sir Sam Fray, director of movements at the War Office, and Lady Londonderry (formerly Edith Chaplin), President of the Women’s War Services Legion.

Considering the fine quality of his pencil portraits, it is remarkable that Anderson is not better known today.  He was certainly something of a celebrity artist in his day – The Tatler featured at least two photographs of him in uniform.