British painter and illustrator, born in Madras, the son of a high court official. He came to England in 1878 and studied at St John's Wood School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. His style was heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and he was at his best with medieval subjects, although at one time his most famous picture was probably The Boer War (1901, City Art Gallery, Birmingham), showing a young woman musing on the death of a loved one. In 1910 he founded the Byam Shaw and Vicat Cole School of Art in Kensington with the painter Rex Vicat Cole (1870–1940), a close friend who later wrote The Art and Life of Byam Shaw (1932). Among the teachers was another close friend, Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1872–1945), likewise an upholder of the Pre-Raphaelite tradition. The school still continues today as the Byam Shaw School of Art, although it is now located in north London. In 2003 it merged with St Martin's School of Art.
From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.