The Berger Collection

Henry Thomson, RA (1773-1843)

Henry Thomson was born in Portsea on the south coast of England. His father, a naval purser, encouraged his artistic inclinations and took Henry to Paris in 1787. But the pair were forced to return to England when the French Revolution erupted two years later. In 1791, the seventeen-year-old Henry entered the Royal Academy Schools, where he spent a year. After completing his training in the studio of John Opie, Thomson, again in the company of his father, traveled to Europe, visiting Italy between 1793 and 1798 and Austria and Germany in 1799. On returning to England, Thomson exhibited classical subjects at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1800. He was elected an associate member in 1801 and became full academician in 1804.