Julius Olsson R.A.
1864 - 1942Albert Julius Olsson RA (1 February 1864 – 7 September 1942) was a renowned British maritime artist. He was born in London, to Swedish and English parents. Having started his study of painting in London at the age of twenty-six he moved to Cornwall where he had a studio in St. Ives overlooking Porthmeor beach. His life-long love of the sea started here where he could observe the powerful waves at first hand in all weathers and at all times of the day or night. This fixation stayed with him throughout his life and his ability to depict crashing waves and the enormous power of the sea producing exciting atmospheric effects brought him great critical acclaim.
In the last decade of the 19th century he was an important figure in the St Ives school of artists where, between 1890 and 1912, he taught alongside Louis Grier and Algernon Talmage and Arnesby Brown. For these artists, the figurative painting favoured by the nearby Newlyn School was very much secondary to the beauty of the sea and its changing character. Olsson first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1890, and he joined the New English Art Club in 1891. During his time at St Ives, Olsson taught numerous artists, including Mary McCrossan and Richard Hayley Lever, Reginald Guy Kortright, Emily Carr, John Anthony Park, Charles David Jones Bryant, Robert Borlase Smart and many others. In 1912 he returned to London and in 1914 Olsson was elected ARA. During the First World War he served as a lieutenant in the RNVR, and in 1920 became a full member of the RA .
After his London studio was bombed, he moved with his Irish wife Edith Ellison to Dalkey, near Dublin, where he died in 1942.
His work is represented in many museums including:
Bristol City Art Gallery, Cardiff: National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Liverpool: Walker Art Gallery, London: National Maritime Museum, London: Leighton House, London: Royal Academy, London: Tate Britain