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Sir William Rothenstein, (January 29, 1872 – February 14, 1945), was an Englishmarker painter, draughtsman and writer on art.

Life and work

William Rothenstein was born into a Jewish family in Bradfordmarker and studied at the Slade School of Artmarker (his teachers included Alphonse Legros) and in Parismarker, where he met and was encouraged by James McNeill Whistler and Edgar Degas. He was a friend of caricaturist and parodist Max Beerbohm. Rothenstein became known for his portrait drawings of famous individuals and was an official war artist in both World War I and World War II. He was a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters & Gravers.

Rothenstein was Principal of the Royal College of Artmarker from 1920 to 1935, where he encouraged figures including Jacob Epstein, Henry Moore and Paul Nash. He wrote several books, including English Portraits (1898) and the autobiographical volumes, Men and Memories. He was knighted in 1931.

William Rothenstein was the father of art historian Sir John Rothenstein, who was the director of the Tate Gallerymarker from 1938 to 1964, and the highly respected British printmaker Michael Rothenstein, whose divorce from Duffy Ayers caused a major controversy in Britishmarker society.

Rabindranath Tagore dedicated his Nobel Prize winner poetry collection Gitanjali to William Rothenstein.


  1. Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore publisheb by macmillan

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