Charles Shannon

(1863—1937) lithographer and painter

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British painter, illustrator, and collector, born at Quarrington, Lincolnshire, the son of a country parson. In 1881–5 he studied wood engraving at Lambeth School of Art, where in 1882 he met Charles Ricketts, who became his lifelong companion. They lived together for almost fifty years until Ricketts's death in 1931. Ricketts had the more dominant personality. A friend of the couple, the poet, critic, and wood engraver Thomas Sturge Moore (1870–1944), wrote that ‘between Ricketts and Shannon existed the most marvellous human relationship that has ever come within my observation, and in their prime each was the other's complement, but neither easily indulged the other; their union was more bracing than comfortable’. Shannon's output as a painter consisted mainly of portraits and imaginative subjects treated in a lush style based on 16th-century Venetian art. They were highly regarded in their day but have dated badly. He made lithographs in a similar vein. In 1929 he fell from a ladder while hanging a picture and injured his brain; although he lived for eight more years, he never fully recovered and often did not recognize Ricketts.

Subjects: Art.

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