Gale was the younger child of William Gale, a London timber merchant, and his wife Ann Crossley Gale (née Williams, c.1787–1859), who married at Malmesbury, Wiltshire on 22nd August 1815. Preceded by an elder sister, Mary Ann, he was born at 16 Harcourt Street, Marylebone, on 16th January 1823 but was only formally baptised there on 15th March 1844. He attended Brompton Grammar School, then Henry Sass’s Art Academy in Charlotte Street to train as a painter. This was an established route into the Royal Academy Schools, where he was admitted in 1841 and became a successful student, winning three silver medals. The first two, in 1844, were for the best copy in the School of Painting and the best drawing from the living model. He also made a strong exhibiting debut in 1844 with Study of a Head at the Society of British Artists, Christ and the woman of Samaria at the British Institution, and The Prodigal Son and A Study at the RA. His third Academy Schools medal was for the best chalk drawing from the living model, awarded in 1845, when his RA exhibits were A study of heads and Young Celadon and his Amelia.

Text source: Art Detective

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