|William Arthur Toplis (1857-1942)|
Inscribed in pencil, "Plemont, Jersey".
4 1/2 x 6 inches.
Attributed to William Toplis (1857-1942).
William Toplis arrived in Jersey with his wife Nellie on 2nd February 1881 and rented Sussex House a smallholding in St Peter. Nellie looked after the farm while William painted scenes of the island, travelling to his subjects by bus. They remained in Jersey until April 1883 when upon taking a holiday in the neighbouring island of Sark they decided to make that their home.
William Arthur Toplis (1857-1942):
Born in Sheffield, William Toplis was a highly talented landscape painter whose name is now synonymous with his beloved island of Sark. He studied at the Sheffield School of Art and became a founder member of the Sheffield Society of Artists. He worked in the Midlands, Wales, Scotland and Jersey before discovering Sark in 1883 when visiting on holiday. He remained on the island until his death in 1942 during the German occupation. Although he exhibited 18 pictures at the Royal Academy, from 1880-1930, he is best remembered for the Book of Sark. He was persuaded by his close friend John Oxenham, a novelist, to reproduce some of his paintings in a book about the Island with special emphasis on the geology, flora and fauna. It was priced at three guineas rising to five guineas after publication, well over a month's wages.