The Victorian neoclassical painter Sir Edward John Poynter (1836-1919) spent his formative years between the Royal Academy Schools and protracted stays in Paris and Italy. He settled in London in 1860 and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1861 onwards. E.J.Poynter was appointed Slade Professor and later Director of Art at the South Kensington Museum and he rose to become President of the Royal Academy (1896-1918) and Director of the National Gallery (1894-1906). A strictly academic artist who believed in study of the life model, Edward John Poynter made studies for every figure in his pictures. His mature work is principally of Greek and Roman subjects in similar style to the works of Frederick Leighton and Alma-Tadema. Edward John Poynter was knighted in 1896, made a baronet in 1902 and awarded the KCVO in 1918.
Edward Poynter’s wife Agnes (née MacDonald), who he had married in 1866, was the sister of Lady Burne-Jones; her other sisters were the mothers of the famous author Rudyard Kipling and of the future Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin M.P.