A landscape and genre painter, William Logsdail was born and brought up in Lincoln, where his father was verger for fifty years. He studied at the local School of Art under E R Taylor and at Verlat’s Academy in Antwerp, Belgium, alongside fellow student Frank Bramley, also a native of Lincolnshire. From 1877 he exhibited at, among others, the Royal Academy; Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street; Grosvenor Gallery; and New Gallery.
In the autumn of 1880 he went to Venice, working for a time with Sargent, who was then lodged in the Palazzo Rezzonico with Boldini. In 1883 he toured the Balkans, Egypt and Palestine, but Venice remained his base even after his marriage in 1892, he and his wife only finally returning to England in 1900.
Although not a member of the Newlyn School, his plein-air style and rustic subjects show that he was influenced by their ideas. Logsdail achieved his greatest success with his large, realistic London scenes. He also painted similar panoramas in Venice, and landscapes in France and Italy.