Mini Biography: Elizabeth Thompson

Birth: Nov. 3, 1846
Death: Oct. 2, 1933
Nationality: British
Movement: History Painting
Born in Lausanne, Switzerland Thompson traveled extensively with her family as a youngster and began art lessons in Italy at age 16. She attended the Female School of Art, now known as the Royal College of Art, in London as well as an art school in Florence. By 1870 she was in France and had begun painting war scenes and by 1873, and once again in England, she exhibited a battle scene at the Royal Academy. Thompson’s painting Calling the Roll After An Engagement, Crimea, typically referred to as The Roll Call, was shown at the Royal Academy the very next year. It was so well received by the critics and public that the painting was taken off the wall and carried to Buckingham Palace so Queen Victoria could see it. Victoria was so impressed with the work she purchased it for the Royal Collection.  After marrying an Irish-born British Army officer in 1877 Thompson accompanied her husband to several posts on the continent of Africa, bore 6 children, and continued to paint.
Some of her notable works include: Calling the Roll After An Engagement, Crimea or The Roll Call pictured below, Remnants of an Army (1879), and Scotland Forever! (1881).
Thompson, Elizabeth. The Roll Call (1874), Royal Collection.
For more information about Thompson, or to see more of her work, visit:
Two Nerdy History Girls