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 William Lister Lister  (1859 - 1943)

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Lived/Active: Australia/Scotland      Known for: seascape and coastal scene painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Figures by the River, 1914
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

William Lister Lister was an Australian painter who won the Wynne Prize* seven times. He was born in Manly, a suburb of Sydney. At the age of eight he moved with his parents to Yorkshire, England, spent a year in France and finally Glasgow, Scotland, where he studied mechanical engineering (1876-80) at the College of Science and Arts and at the Fairfield Engineering Works. There he joined the St Mungo Art Club, exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy* at the age of seventeen.

After serving four years at sea as a ship's engineer, he settled in London, where he began painting professionally as well as teaching. He returned to Sydney in 1888 where he began producing the seascapes and coastal scenes for which he is best known.

He joined the Art Society (later Royal Art Society), and remained with that organization through its many upheavals, exhibiting from 1899.

In 1898 he exhibited successfully at an Exhibition of Australian Art at the Grafton Galleries, London.

In 1900 he was appointed a trustee of the National Gallery of New South Wales and served as vice-president from 1919-43. He was a regular exhibitor at Anthony Hordern's art gallery from 1919-40. Margaret Preston cited him as an early influence.

He died as the result of a traffic accident, after being struck by a taxi.

Wynne Prize winning paintings
    ?    1898 - 'The Last Gleam'
    ?    1906 - 'The Golden Splendour of the Bush'
    ?    1910 - 'Mid Song of Birds and Insects Murmuring
    ?    1912 - 'Sydney Harbour'
    ?    1913 - 'Federal Capital Site'
    ?    1917 - 'Windswept Marshes'
    ?    1925 - 'Track through the Bush'

McCulloch, Alan. Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Hutchinson Ltd London 1968. Page 332
McCulloch, Alan and Susan. Encyclopedia of Australian Art. 3rd Edition, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1994. Page 432
Campbell, Jean. Australian Watercolour Painters: 1780 to the Present Day. Craftsman House, Sydney, 1989. Page 336


* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary


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