Herbert James Draper was born in London. He was educated at Bruce Castle before moving to the Royal Academy Schools, where he was awarded a gold medal and a travelling scholarship in 1889. In 1890 he travelled throughout Europe, spending time in Paris and Rome. Draper settled in London in 1891, and at about this time married Ida Williams' daughter of a magistrate - they had one daughter. He specialised in paintings depicting mythological events, not dissimilar to the subjects which attracted J. W. Waterhouse. His picture The Lament for Icarus, was purchased by the Chantry Bequest in 1898. In 1900 Draper was awarded a gold medal at The International Exhibition in Paris for Icarus. He exhibited at the RA each year from 1887 until shortly before his death. Draper also had a lucrative society portrait painting practice, his aristocratic sitters including the Duchess of Abercorn. Another area of activity was decorative work including, appropriately, the ceiling of the Drapers Hall.
January 5th, 2013
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