Versatile painter, notably of genre scenes, born in Beverley, Yorkshire, son of the wood-carver James Elwell. Studied at Lincoln School of Art, winning the Gibney Scholarship in 1887. Next studied at Academy Schools, Antwerp, worked for a while in London and Beverley, then continued his education at Académie Julian, Paris. From mid-1890s exhibited at RA and Paris Salon, also showing at ROI, RSA, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and in Scotland. Elwell’s career became based in Beverley from the early years of the century. His picture of the Beverley Arms kitchen is held by the Tate Gallery and the town’s gallery has a collection of pictures by Elwell and his wife Mary Dawson Elwell (Holmes). He was elected RA in 1938. A large retrospective was held at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1993–4.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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