Draper, Herbert James (1864-1920)

   Herbert James Draper was born in London and studied science before turning to the arts, studying at St John's Wood School and in 1884 at the RA Schools. Draper exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887 and continued to show pictures there for the rest of his life. He specialized in nymphs, beautiful and nude, but was also a portrait painter. In 1889, he won a Royal Academy scholarship, and traveled abroad on the Continent. He had actually decided to live in Italy, but wrote to Lord Leighton to ask his advice. Leighton advised him that 'there was no light for painting like the light of an English summer', and this was enough to persuade Draper to abandon his life on the Continent.
   Draper married Ida Williams, and they had one daughter. From 1896, his family lived in Abbey Road, St John's Wood, London, neighbors of John Waterhouse.
   He was one of the later followers of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Classicists. His paintings are often compared to those of John William Waterhouse, featuring beautiful innocent-looking girls with long dark hair. His work also shows the influence of Lord Leighton and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. His works are often light-hearted. However, he took great pains over the background for his pictures.

Artwork in the Artists' Section