Charles Ginner


In Tate Britain
In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Rooms

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Artist biography

Charles Ginner was an influential member of the Camden Town Group. Born in France and having lived in Paris for almost a decade before moving to London, he appeared an authority on continental modern art to his British colleagues.1 Malcolm Drummond painted a ‘vital and characteristic’ portrait of his friend in 1911 (figs.1 and 2),2 displayed at the second Camden Town Group exhibition, which presents Ginner as a suave and sophisticated artist, standing nonchalantly with cigarette in hand in front of one of his post-impressionist paintings. Ginner lived in England for the rest of his life but retained a French accent for many years, humorously caricatured in a 1914 letter to the secretary of the London Group, James Bolivar Manson (fig.3).
Isaac Charles Ginner was born in Cannes in the south of France on 4 March 1878.3 He was the third of four children of Isaac Benjamin Ginner (died 1895), from Hastings in Sussex, and Lydia Adeline Wightman, who had lived in London and was of Scottish descent. Ginner’s father established the Pharmacie Ginner in Cannes,4 and his elder brother, Ernest Wightman Ginner, later became a doctor with a practice on the Riviera. Ginner’s eldest brother had died in infancy. His youngest sibling, Ruby Mary Adeline Ginner (later Dyer), became a dancer and dance teacher; many of Ginner’s works were in her collection.5

Ginner was educated in Cannes at the Collège Stanislas. At the age of sixteen he contracted typhoid and double pneumonia and was sent to recuperate on a long sea voyage on his uncle Charles Harrison’s tramp steamer in the Mediterranean and South Atlantic.6 Upon returning to Cannes, he spent time working in an engineer’s office before moving to Paris at the age of twenty-one where he was employed in an architect’s office from 1899 until 1904.7

Early style and inspiration

The Camden Town Group and post-impressionism


Later groupings

Helena Bonett
January 2011


Wikipedia entry

Charles Isaac Ginner (1878–1952) was a British painter of landscape and urban subjects. Born in the south of France at Cannes, of British parents, in 1910 he settled in London, where he was an associate of Spencer Gore and Harold Gilman and a key member of the Camden Town Group.

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Artist as subject

Film and audio

Re-Viewing the Camden Town Group – Part 1

Audio recording of the Tate Britain, Modern Painters symposium dedicated to the Camden Town Group and the Moderen Painters exhibition.

The Lives and Letters of the Camden Town Group

This study day will explore the social and art historical context of the Camden Town Group with a lecture from ...

Metropolis and Modernity: Modern Painters Study Day

To coincide with Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group, this study day examines the Camden Town Group in the context ...


Tate Etc

Family colours: Robert Bevan and the Camden Town Group

Patrick Baty

Tate's online research project, The Camden Town Group in Context, brings together much new material on the artists in ...

Press Release

The Camden Town Group in Context - new scholarly project launches on Tate's website

30 May 2012
Press Release announcing The Camden Town Group in Context - new scholarly project launches on Tate's website

The Camden Town Group: Paintings and Drawings in the Tate Collection

The research and creation of an unique online catalogue about the Camden Town Group that will present essays about the ...
Tate Etc

Dealing joyously with gross material facts: The Camden Town Group

James Beechey

Modern Painters: Sickert's famous dictum heralded a move towards a gritty realism in British painting

Tate Etc

Tate Etc. issue 12: Spring 2008

TATE ETC Issue 12 Spring 2008: Visiting and revisiting Art, etcetera, online edition of Tate's magazine

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