Charles Haslewood Shannon

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Charles Haslewood Shannon
Self-portrait, 1897
Born26 April 1863
Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England
Died18 March 1937 (1937-03-19) (aged 73)
Kew, London, England
Resting placeSt Botolph's Church, Quarrington[1]
EducationLambeth School of Art

Charles Haslewood Shannon RA[2] (26 April 1863 – 18 March 1937) was an English artist best known for his portraits.[3] These appear in several major European collections, including London's National Portrait Gallery. Several authorities spell his middle name Hazelwood.[4][5][6][7] The National Portrait Gallery prefers the spelling used here.


Shannon was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, son of the Rev. Frederick William Shannon, Rector of Quarrington, and Catherine Emma Manthorp, daughter of a surgeon, Daniel Levett Manthorp.[1] He was educated at St John's School, Leatherhead where he played cricket in the first XI.[3][8] He then attended the City and Guilds of London Art School (then known as South London School of Technical Art, formerly Lambeth School of Art) and was later much influenced by his lifetime partner, Charles Ricketts[9] and by the example of the great Venetians. His early work has a heavy, low tone, which he later abandoned for clearer, more transparent colours. He achieved success with his portraits and his Giorgionesque figure compositions, which are marked by a classic sense of style, and with his etchings and lithographs.[10]

Charles Haslewood Shannon; Charles de Sousy Ricketts by George Charles Beresford
Untitled, Aberdeen Archives, Gallery and Museums Collection

Dublin Municipal Gallery owns his circular work The Bunch of Grapes and The Lady with the Green Fan (a portrait of Mrs Hacon). Another subject was the popular novelist Mary Frances Dowdall. His Study in Grey is at the Munich Gallery, a Portrait of Mr Staats Forbes at Bremen, and Souvenir of Van Dyck at Melbourne. One remarkable picture is The Toilet of Venus, once in the collection of Lord Northcliffe,[10] and later Tate Britain.[11] Later works include The Amethyst Necklace (1907), The Morning Toilet (1911), The Embroidered Shawl (1914), and The Incoming Tide (1918). Also in 1918 he produced various portraits, including those of Princess Patricia of Connaught, Lillah McCarthy, and the actress Hilda Moore. Among his lithographs were Playmates (1908), Ebb Tide (1917), The Tidal River and A Sharp Corner (1919).[12]

Shannon was elected as Associate of the Royal Academy in 1911 and in 1918 became vice-president of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.[13] In 1920 he was elected RA.[12]

Several of his portrait works are held in London's National Portrait Gallery.[citation needed]

Complete sets of his lithographs and etchings were acquired by the British Museum and the Berlin and Dresden print rooms. He was awarded a first-class gold medal at Munich in 1895 and a first-class silver medal in Paris in 1900.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Shannon and Ricketts met as teenagers and cohabited in Chelsea for over 50 years until Rickets died. They also worked together on many projects.[14] Together they designed and illustrated books, set up an art journal, and created the Vale Press, which published over 75 books before it closed in 1904.[14] Shannon became disabled in 1928 after a fall while hanging a picture. The neurological damage he suffered caused amnesia and ended his career.[15]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b Darracott, Joseph. "Shannon, Charles Haslewood (1863–1937)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36038. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ "Royal Academy of Arts Collections – Home".
  3. ^ a b "Mr. Shannon R.A., Lithographer and Painter". The Times. 19 March 1937. p. 18.
  4. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  5. ^ Shannon, C.H.; White, G. (1896). The Pageant. Henry and Company. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Biondina (La Femme aux chats)". Brooklyn Museum. 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  7. ^ "The Forbes Collection of Victorian Pictures and Works of Art". Christie's. Christie's. 18 February 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  8. ^ St John's School, Leatherhead, School Register, 1852–1904. Published April 1904, p. 64.
  9. ^ Ray, Gordon Norton (1992), The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914, Courier Dover Publications, p. 160, ISBN 0-486-26955-8.
  10. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Shannon, Charles Hazelwood". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 801.
  11. ^ "The Bath of Venus". Tate. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  12. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Shannon, Charles Haslewood". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 32 (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company. p. 423.
  13. ^ "The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951. University of Glasgow. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  14. ^ a b Jessie Petheram. "Shannon and Rickets – A Creative Partnership". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  15. ^ The Sir Edmund and Lady Davis Presentation: A Gift of British Art to South Africa, South African National Gallery, 1999.

External links[edit]