Walter Withers (1854-1914) was nicknamed ‘The Colonel’ for his efficient and organised ways.
Born in Aston, Birmingham England, he was the grandson of an artist and studied in London from
1870-82 at the Royal Academy and South Kensington School.

His father opposed his choice of career and when Walter Withers arrived in Australia on 1st January 1883,
he took to the ‘track’ for 18 months to absorb the bush life and imagery. On his return to Melbourne,
Withers began work as a draughtsman for a printing company and for 3 years attended life classes at the
National Gallery School of Victoria. On weekends he would trek to Heidelberg to paint.

He returned briefly to England, got married, and during 1887-88 studied at the Academie Julian in Paris.
By 1889 he was back in Melbourne painting regularly with the Heidelberg artists. He maintained a studio and held ‘plein air’ painting classes in Creswick and later at Eltham where he passed away in 1914.

His soft, atmospheric handling of Australian country scenes and timeless palette has ensured Walter Withers continuing and widespread popularity.

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