William Elias Harris was born in Birmingham in 1854 to Elias and Jane Harris. His father died when he was young and his mother later remarried. Like many artists of the time who came from working class families, he initially took a job in the metal industry and also worked as an engraver before becoming a full time artist.
Harris married Mary Ann Bayliss at Birmingham in December 1872 and together they lived at Victoria Road, Aston. His son Edwin Elias Harris also became an artist. He began exhibiting in Birmingham from 1879 at a number of local galleries including the Royal Society of Artists Birmingham. He moved to London around 1885, before settling in Eton Wick, Berkshire at the end of the 1880’s. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1889 and at the Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Glasgow Institute, Royal Hibernian Society and the Walker Art Gallery.
Harris spent his time painting the views of Worcestershire, Berkshire, Surrey and Wales and specialised in river landscapes and marine scenes. By 1893 he had moved back to the Worcestershire area living in Broadway for a time before returning to Birmingham to live in Balsall Heath. After the death of his first wife, he married Alice Gertrude Russell in 1927 and they lived at 368 Moseley Road, Birmingham. He died at Birmingham on 1 June 1934.
Examples of his work are held by Chertsey Museum, Henley Town Council, Museum of Farnham and the National Trust.
The painting is housed in new, English made gilt frame which is in excellent condition. Dorney Farm and its associated land was farmed by William Trumper from 1802-1854 who leased it from John Palmer, the owner of Dorney Court. It was later renamed Manor Farm, probably to avoid confusion with Dorney Court Farm and was leased by Thomas White from around 1854 until the turn of the century. Thomas White had been the tenant of Dorney Court Farm which he handed over to his son George, prior to taking over Dorney Farm/Manor Farm. Both farms were very close by to where Harris lived at Eton Wick. The frame bears an old label to the back.
|Image Size||16.5 inches x 33.5 inches (42cm x 85cm)|
|Framed Size||22.25 inches x 39.25 inches (56.5cm x 99.5cm)|