Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)

Joan Jenner/Rhoades reading, circa 1925


SKU: 4195

Signed with studio stamp on reverse (2/26) 

Oil on canvas

Height – 51cm
Width – 61cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Studio

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.100.

Rhoades married Joan Jenner in the mid 1930’s.   They met at a
Royal College Ball. Although Geoffrey studied at the Slade (more
prestigeous than the College at the time) one of his intimate friends,
Percy Horton, was at the College. Geoffrey, Percy, his wife Lydia and
Joan became very close friends until the end of their lives. Joan came
from Lewes in Sussex, was very intelligent, only not experiencing
university education because her divorced parents could not afford it.
She made a distinguished career as a secretary, her final appointment
being as secretary to the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art,
University of Oxford with Percy Horton as Ruskin Master. Geoffrey also
taught there as has their son Peter who was born in 1938. Joan died in
2002, aged 97, in the house in Cuddington which she had shared with
Geoffrey and subsequently with Peter, his wife his second wife Jane and their two

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Percy Horton
1897 - 1970

Born in Brighton, Percy Horton attended the School of Art there from 1912-1916. During the First Word War he became a conscientious objector and was sentenced to two years hard labour in Carlton Prison, Edinburgh, from 1916-18. After the war, he took up his studies again at the Central School of Art 1918-20 and the Royal College of Art 1922-24. In 1925 he was appointed art master at Bishop’s Stortford College and also began giving classes at the Working Men’s College in London.

As a member of the AIA (Allied International Artists) during the 1930’s he believed that artists should be socially committed and he painted a series of portraits of the unemployed during the Depression. He taught at the RCA between 1930 and 1949. During the Second World War the college was evacuated to Ambleside and he produced a series of paintings of the Lake District and its people. At the request of the War Artists Advisory Committee he drew portraits and painted scenes in war factories and this collection is now in the Imperial War Museum. In 1949 Horton was elected Ruskin Master of Drawing at Oxford University and remained in this post until his retirement in 1964. His favourite areas for his paintings were the South Downs around Firle and the farmsteads of Provence.

His style was restrained and traditional; in 1973 came this quote – “the landscapes of his maturity are carefully composed and closely observed, the artist’s strong sense of form and pictorial structure making them serious works which require time to assimilate and appreciate. As a figure draughtsman, he was outstanding and his portrait drawings and paintings are the work of a sensitive artist of intense concentration, intellectual power and human understanding.”

Percy Horton painted many scenes of Dulwich . He and his wife, Lydia lived at 11 Pond Cottages for many years. His neighbours were fellow artists James and Margaret Fitton who lived at 10 Pond Cottages. After the Hortons left the two cottages were amalgamated and the Fittons took over the entire property. One of Horton’s pupils at the RCA was the North American-born artist, R.B. Kitaj, who also lived in Dulwich, in the 1960’s, in Burbage Road.

Horton exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Arts Council travelling exhibitions, Royal Society of British Artists, New English Art Club, Ashmolean Museum and the Brighton Art Gallery. A memorial retrospective was held at the Mall Galleries in 1971. His work may be seen in the permanent collections of the Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Arts Council, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge., and a number of city art galleries.

We are grateful to Professor Edward Chaney for assistance.


Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
View of Houses Through a Gap in Trees
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Portrait of a woman with glasses, circa 1915
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Profile portrait of a woman with glasses, 1930’s
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Geraniums in Barrel, 1970
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Landscape: houses through gap in trees, figure left foreground, circa 1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Joan Jenner/Rhoades reading, circa 1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Chianti Bottle with Apple, circa 1922
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Derbyshire landscape – circa 1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Study for Kensington Park, 1923
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Reclining Nude, 1915
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
The Artists Daughter, Kay, c.1940
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Self Portrait at Easel – c.1940
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Tree-lined road, houses beyond – circa 1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Suburban Garden – 1921
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Portrait of a young girl in pink – circa 1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
A Seated Model in the Studio, Three Quarter Rear View, c.1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Portrait of a Young Girl – circa 1925
Percy Horton (1897 - 1970)
Portrait of an artist (possibly Stanley Badmin), c.1925