Elizabeth Thompson Butler
DOI link for Elizabeth Thompson Butler
Elizabeth Thompson Butler book
Elizabeth Thompson Butler was a nineteenth-century anomaly; a female military artist, at one time arguably the most famous painter in Britain, but who, in the words of Brian Sewell, subsequently “sank without trace”. This chapter explores the use of Butler’s autograph replicas and links them to the trajectory of her career to open up ways of understanding her practice. It argues that her early replicas reflect her passion for professionalism through a continuing learning process and predate the intervention of her stellar success in 1874. Butler was both competitive and ambitious, vying with Kate Greenaway to be the best at art school. Martin Butler, her youngest son, was also a worry, relying on family for financial support in spite of an arrangement reached for his benefit. Butler’s novelty had waned and unlike her male contemporaries she had been unable to sustain an active interest among the art world.