Edward Wadsworth (1889 - 1949)

Edward Wadsworth was raised in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire and was educated in Edinburgh. His industrialist father had hoped he would follow his lead and continue to work in the family mill. He was sent to Munich to study engineering in 1906-07, however in his spare time, he focused on studying art at the Knirr School. On return, he was accepted by Bradford School of Art and later was awarded a scholarship at the Slade School of Art from 1909-1912.

Wadsworth was strongly associated with contemporaries such as Percy Wyndham Lewis, one of the main figures linked to the Vorticist movement. Vorticism, like Cubism and Futurism, aimed to embrace dynamism, the machine age and all things modern in art. Through the employment of bold lines and harsh colours, the Vorticist artists strived to catch movement in an image. Having contributed to the Vorticist Exhibition in June 1915 at the Doré Gallery and acting as signatory of the Vorticist Manifesto published in BLAST magazine, Wadsworth went on to spend his War Years in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. He designed dazzled camouflage for allied ships to confuse the enemy with. Throughout the 1920s Wadsworth's avant-garde tendencies began to subside, however he still focused on naval and maritime themes which he knew best. The 1930s saw him retract back to abstraction; in 1930 he joined the international Abstraction-Creation group and Paul Nash's Unit One team.

His father died in 1921 leaving Wadsworth an inheritance which enabled him to travel to Italy and explore different mediums to draw and paint in. It is in Italy where he encountered his love for painting in tempera. He was adept in a variety of mediums -however, it was in tempera that Wadsworth produced his renowned series of harbours and ports in the 1920s.