About this artwork

This coloured chalk drawing shows James Bryce, a statesman and historian who made important contributions to British pre-war politics and academia. Born in Belfast, he was educated in Glasgow and later Oxford, where he became professor of civil law. A Liberal, he entered parliament in 1880, first for the London constituency of Tower Hamlets and later for South Aberdeen. He held various cabinet positions until his appointment as ambassador to the US, from 1907-1913. Meanwhile he gained academic credit for his publications of ‘Holy Roman Empire’ (1864), ‘The American Commonwealth’ (1888) and ‘Impressions’ (1897), the last work being about his visit to South Africa. His 1915 report on German behaviour in Belgium influenced American opinion before the country’s entry into the First World War.

Updated before 2020

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Sir William Rothenstein

Sir William Rothenstein