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Professor Priestley Smith (d.1933), Honorary Opthalmic Surgeon (1874–1905), Consulting Opthalmic Surgeon (1905–1933)
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Painter and writer on art, born in London. Speed was the son of an architect, Edward Speed, and initially studied architecture at the Royal College of Art, but changed to painting, winning a gold medal for life studies in 1890. He went on to study at the Royal Academy Schools, 1891–6, again winning a gold medal. A travelling scholarship took him to Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, 1894–5. He exhibited at the RA for 40 years from 1893, also at many other venues, including RP, Fine Art Society, Leicester Galleries and RBA. Speed was a consummate draughtsman and portrait painter and wrote The Science and Practice of Drawing, 1913, and The Science and Practice of Oil Painting, 1924, as well as What is the Good of Art?, 1936. He was master of the Art Workers’ Guild, 1916, nine years after he had his first one-man show, at the Leicester Galleries.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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