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George Owen Wynne Apperley is a forgotten English watercolourist of some considerable talent, as shown here in this extraordinary self-portrait painted in 1915.

Apperley was a descendant of ‘Nimrod’, the sporting journalist. He attended Hubert von Herkomer’s art school in Bushey, Hertforshire. Indeed it was at Bushey where Apperley painted this self-portrait at the age of 31, when he returned to live there in 1913, following the death of a daughter, the illness of a son and his own poor health. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1905, and his first one-man show was in the following year. In 1907 he married and lived in Hampstead, travelling twice yearly to paint on he Continent.

In addition to painting, Apperley also composed a musical, The Flying Man, based on the exploits of Blériot, and he appeared on the music hall stage.

In 1916, the year after he painted this extraordinary self-portrait, he was advised to go to Spain for his health – and he never returned. He first lived in Granada, and then at the Villa Apperley, Tangier, with a Spanish gypsy. He had numerous exhibitions in Spain and was awarded the order of Alfonso X el Sabio in 1945. He painted figures, mythological subjects, landscapes and town views. He was a fine draughtsman, as shown here in this watercolour with its highly detailed interior.

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The Star of Andalucia (Nocturno Andaluz)
The model in this painting is Enriqueta Contreras, the artist's second wife. He moved to Tangier in 1932 after living for many years in Granada, Sp...
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John Robertson Fine Paintings