Dion Clayton Calthrop
British, 1878 - 1937
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Son of the actor John Clayton (real name Calthrop) and a grandson on his mother's side of the Irish actor and dramatist Dion Boucicault. He was educated at St Paul's and studied art at St John's Wood, then at Julian's and Colarossi's in Paris. It was probably at St John's Wood that he met Byam Shaw, a close friend with a kindred interest in the stage. In the First World War he served in the RNVR (Commander 1916). A versatile artist and illustrator in early life, exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1900-1903 and being co-editor of The Idler with Sidney Sime, he later became a prolific author of a whimsical cast of mind, writing many books on a variety of subjects from costume to the joys of fishing (some illustrated by himself, two by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale), and having plays produced in London and New York. From the late 1920s he lived in Dorset. My Own Trumpet, an autobiography, was published in 1935.
Byam Shaw used Clayton Calthrop as a model for one of his illustrations to Ecclesiastes, exhibited at the Dowdeswell Galleries in 1902, and Cadogan Cowper was to paint his portrait in 1915 (exhibited at the RA).
Source: John Christian, 'The Last Romantics: The Romantic Tradition in British Art - Burne-Jones to Stanley Spencer'
Dion Clayton Calthrop illustrated Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market. He authored and illustrated English Costume (1906), a look at the changes in English clothing between the reigns of William I to George IV; some chapters of this work also appeared in the Connoisseur. Edited Diary of an Eighteenth Century Gardener with Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale as illustrator; the two also collaborated on The Gentle Art.
A selection of art exhibitions which have featured this
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