William Ratcliffe [ 1870 - 1955 ]


Having attended evening classes at the Manchester School of Art, where he came under the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, by 1901 Ratcliffe was working as a wallpaper designer in London. He moved to Letchworth in 1906 where he became friends with Harold Gilman following the latter’s move there in 1908. Gilman encouraged Ratcliffe to take up fine art, persuading him to attend evening classes at the Slade and introducing him to the Fitzroy Street painters. When the Camden Town Group was formed Gilman nominated Ratcliffe, and he exhibited in all three of its exhibitions. Dr Wendy Baron, the leading authority on this period, believes that this little painting was exhibited at the first Camden Town show in 1911.