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William Stephen Coleman

(1829—1904) book illustrator and painter


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(b Horsham, 1829; d St John's Wood, London, 22 March 1904). English book illustrator and painter. He trained as a surgeon, but never practised, instead working as a writer and illustrator of books on natural history and as a painter of watercolour landscapes. In 1869 Coleman embarked on a new career when he joined Copeland's (see Spode Ceramic Works) as a painter of china plaques. Later that year he moved to the Minton Ceramic Factory, attracted by the opportunity to work with their well-known turquoise colour. At Minton he designed table services, which were transfer-printed in colour with his scrupulously accurate depictions of flora (e.g. ‘The Naturalist’) and fauna (e.g. ‘Game Place’) and people (a series of dessert services with orientalised ladies). In 1871 he became head of the new Minton's Art Pottery Studio in Kensington Gore; there he designed porcelain plaques, many of which depict flora, fauna and lighly-clad girls and women. He resigned as director in 1873, but containued to paint porcelain at the studio till it was destroyed by fire in 1875.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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