Robert Edward Morrison (1851-1924)

Robert Edward Morrison (1851-1924), was born on the Isle of Man. His father, John Morrison was a joiner and later manager of one of the Peel timber yards. Morrison trained as a house painter and served part of his apprenticeship with William Nicholson of Douglas, father of the Manx artist, John Miller Nicholson. Morrison moved to Liverpool in 1870 where he initially worked as a house painter. At the age of 21 he became a student at the Liverpool School of Art, where he studied under John Finnie. He later studied in Paris at the Académie Julian under Bouguereau and Tony Fleury. Morrison returned to Liverpool in the mid 1870s to become a full-time artist specialising in portrait painting. He started exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1884. He also exhibited extensively at the Liverpool Academy, acting as its President from 1895 to 1905. He was an active member of the Liverpool Manx society and was its President from 1911. Morrison's first art lessons was by John Miller Nicholson, the leading Manx artist who was to become a life-long friend and whose portrait he painted in later life. In the 1881 census Morrison called himself an artist in crayon. A decade later he was describing himself as a portrait painter. Morrison painted many of the dignitaries of Liverpool, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, including the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and the Manx novelist Hall Caine. On his return visits to the Isle of Man he often painted landscapes though it is as a sympathetic portrait painter he will be remembered, producing sensitive and pleasing portraits of his sitters that at the time ensured his popularity and success. He died in Liverpool in 1924. 

Exhibited: Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham 1, Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts 4, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 191, Manchester City Art Gallery 3, Royal Academy 41, Royal Society of British Artists 2, Royal Cambrian Academy 53, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours,  2, Royal Institute of Oil Painters 5.