The Joseph Southall Collection
Joseph Southall was born in Nottingham in 1861. His father, a grocer, died a little over a year later, and the young Southall and his mother moved to Edgbaston, Birmingham to live with his mother's family. After an education in York, Southall returned to Birmingham in 1878 and trained with the leading local architects' practice Martin & Chamberlain, while studying painting part- time at the Birmingham School of Art. Southall became frustrated by his architectural training, feeling that an architect should have a broader understanding of craft disciplines such as painting and carving. With this in mind he undertook several tours in Europe. The following year he left Martin & Chamberlain. Southall painted a variety of subjects during his career, including mythological, romantic, and religious subjects, portraits and landscapes. He was known for his mastery of the colour red, the clean and clear light in his works, and for his paintings on the theme of Beauty and the Beast.