British painter and etcher, mainly of river scenes, landscapes, and portraits. He was the son of a London boatbuilder and waterman who used to ferry J. M. W. Turner across the Thames. In the early 1860s Walter and his brother Henry met *Whistler (a neighbour in Chelsea) and began to row him about the river, which was one of his favourite subjects. In about 1863 they became his unpaid pupils and studio assistants; they hero-worshipped him, and their unsophisticated attempts to imitate his stylish dress and manner caused much amusement. Walter continued to be associated with Whistler until the 1890s. He had painted even before he met Whistler, and his early work is in a detailed, almost *naive style; he soon came completely under the master's influence, however, and in his Self-portrait (c.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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