Joseph Arthur Palliser Severn (1842-1931)

Joseph Arthur Palliser Severn (1842-1931) was known as Arthur Severn. He was the son of Joseph Severn, artist who was a friend of John Keats. His brother Walter and sister Mary were also artists. Severn studied in Paris and Rome and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1862, at Whistler’s suggestion. He was a founder member of the Arts Club and a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours who exhibited widely throughout his career. Arthur was a life long friend of Ruskin and married Joan Agnew, Ruskin's cousin in 1871. Severn joined Albert Goodwin and Ruskin on a trip to Italy in 1872. When Ruskin moved from Denmark Hill in South London to Brantwood on Coniston Water in the Lake District the Severns accompanied him and remained part of the household until his death, becoming his carers towards the end of Ruskin's life. They inherited Brantwood and remained there. As Ruskin had instructed, Severn turned to nature for inspiration, suffusing his ‘strenuous and sincere’ observations of the outdoors with his own poetic imagination - a ‘power to see nature in a grand and dramatic, yet, simple fashion’ (Lakes Herald, 16 Dec 1892, p 5). Severn exhibited often at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, amongst many other institutions. Arthur Severn's recollections of Ruskin, edited by James Dearden, were published in 1967 under the title 'The Professor'.