The Lesson by Sant is Sure to Enchant

James Sant | The Lesson[James Sant (1820-1916) The Lesson oil on canvas 89 cm Royal Academy]

British portrait painter and Royal Academy member James Sant (1820–1916) was born in Croydon, Surrey. His main tutors were John Varley and Augustus Wall Callcott.

Sant was elected to the Royal Academy in 1870 at the age of 50, and in 1872 he was appointed Principal Painter in Ordinary (official portraitist) to Queen Victoria and the Royal Family. Sant resigned from the Academy in 1914 at the age of 94, two years before his death, to “make room for younger men.

  • During his career, Sant produced an astonishing 250 canvases for exhibition at the Academy and his work can be found at the Tate Gallery, London.

His brother George Sant (1821–1877) was a landscape painter; and they were among the notable artist acquaintances of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). In fact, James Sant’s son Jemmy was the subject of one of Dodgson’s famous portrait photographs.

  • James Sant died at the age of 96 in 1916.

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