Biography

Reginald Grenville Eves RA (24 May 1876 – 13 June 1941) was a British painter who made portraits of many prominent military, political and cultural figures between the two world wars.

Eves was born in 1876, the son of William Henry Eves, a London JP. He was educated at University College School and later at the Slade School of Fine Art, between 1891 and 1895, where he studied under Alphonse Legros, Frederick Brown and Henry Tonks. After the Slade, he lived and worked in Yorkshire for five years, before returning to London. In 1901 he had his first work shown at the Royal Academy. Eves exhibited in Paris several times and won a Silver Medal in 1924 and a Gold Medal in 1926 at the Paris Salon. He was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1933 and a Royal Academician in 1939. Eves established a successful society portrait practice in London and his subjects included Thomas Hardy, Sir Ernest Shackleton, George VI and Sir Max Beerbohm.

When the Second World War broke out, Eves was among the first artists offered a full-time, salaried contract by the War Artists' Advisory Committee, WAAC, and along with Barnett Freedman, Edward Ardizzone and Edward Bawden, was sent to France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force, BEF. There, Eves mainly painted portraits while based at a hotel in Arras. After he returned to Britain in April 1940, Eves salaried contract was allowed to lapse, as WAAC found it difficult to find high-ranking officiers with the time for lengthly portrait settings, but he continued to undertake individual commissions for WAAC. He died on 13 June 1941.

His works form part of the collections of both the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery.

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