Marjorie Sherlock at the Royal Academy

The exhibition The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition coincides with this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. On loan from the Government Art Collection until 19 August is Liverpool Street Station, a painting from 1917 by Marjorie Sherlock.

Liverpool Street Station by Marjorie Sherlock

© Copyright Reserved / Estate of Marjorie Sherlock

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First exhibited at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in 1917, Liverpool Street Station by Marjorie Sherlock is illuminated by the cold morning light of a winter’s day in the central London station. Travellers alighting from a train, and others waiting in the foreground, are wrapped warmly in long coats, hats and gloves. Sherlock uses muted greys and pinks to capture the smoky platform, an environment that is pierced only by the faint glow of electric light from the newspaper stand in the bottom left corner.

Built on the site of the former Bethlem Hospital, the Gothic red brick building of Liverpool Street Station opened in 1874, and after its extension in 1891, had more platforms than any other London station. It is still one of the busiest stations in the city, and was once described by John Betjeman as ‘… the most picturesque and interesting of London termini’.

Marjorie Sherlock, landscape painter and etcher, was born in Wanstead, Essex. She studied at the Slade School of Art and at the Westminster Schools of Art in the early 1900s; and later at the Royal College of Art (1926) and the Académie L’Hote in Paris (1938). Her teachers included the painters, Walter Sickert and Harold Gilman; and the etcher, Malcolm Osborne.

During the 1920s, Sherlock travelled abroad in India and north Africa, after which she published a number of volumes including Egyptian Etchings (1925) and Indian Etchings (1932). Returning to England later in life, she settled in Devon with her mother, where she enjoyed a local following. From the first showing of her work at the Royal Academy in 1917, Sherlock continued to exhibit her work there over the next 50 years: her final exhibited work was Fantastic Landscape in 1968. Despite having also exhibited at the New English Art Club, Sherlock never enjoyed a solo exhibition during her lifetime. Shortly after her death in 1973, a retrospective of her work was held at the Maltzhan Gallery in London.

Further Information

The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition
Royal Academy
Burlington House, Piccadilly,
London, W1J 0BD

Telephone: 020 7300 8090