by Scholes, Robert
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Joseph Edward Southall (1861 - 1944)
He was born in Nottingham, but shortly afterwards, he and his family moved to Birmingham. He first articled as a clerk in an architect's office, but by 1882 he had decided to pursue painting, and enrolled in the famed Birmingham School of Art. In 1883, he travelled to Italy, and returned with enthusiasm for the use of egg tempera. The use of the yolk of an egg as a medium for pigment is a difficult technique to master, but the effects can be stunning and jewel-like. In Italy he became interested in the Italian “primitve” painters — those who worked before Rafaello —, which brought Southall into alignment with the English Pre-Raphaelites. He was encouraged in his work by Sir William Richmond and Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who was also originally from Birmingham. Living in that city, he worked as an examiner at the Municpal School of Art.