John Macallan Swan
British, 1847 - 1910
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Animal painter and sculptor. Studied at the Lambeth School of Art, and the Royal Academy Schools. Studied in Paris with Gérome and the sculptor Frémiet. Also much influenced by Barye. Exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1878. In 1889 'The Prodigal Son' was bought by the Chantrey Bequest. Also exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery and elsewhere. Elected ARA 1894, RA 1905. He is best known for his superb studies of lions, leopards and tigers, executed in rapid pen and wash drawings, pastels, oils or in bronze. He did also paint landscapes and allegorical figure subjects, but his true vocation was to paint wild animals.
The Art Journal (1905)
An account of Swan's election as a full member of the Royal Academy can be found in the 1905 edition of The Art Journal, p.160:
"On March 22, the Royal Academy raised to full membership, in the stead of the late Mr. G. H. Boughton, Mr. John Macallan Swan, the distinguished sculptor-painter who had been an Associate since 1894. By general consent Mr. Swan, who was born at Brentford in 1847, and who in Paris came under the influence of men like Bastien Lepage, Frémiet, Barye, is one whose intimate knowledge of animal structure and animal life is backed by imaginative insight. He is one of the very few, by the way, who enjoy the friendship of Matthew Maris."