William Barnes Wollen

William Barnes Wollen (6 October 1857–28 March 1936) was an English painter mostly known for his paintings of battle and historical scenes and sporting events.

Wollen pictured in the Illustrated London News in 1892
2nd Ox %26 Bucks, Nonne Bosschen, defeating the Prussian Guard 1914 by W.B. Wollen.jpeg
"Defeat of the Prussian Guard, Ypres, 1914"
Wollen, Battle of Quatre Bras
"The Black Watch (42nd Highlanders) at Bay, Quatre Bras"
The Last Stand, by William Barnes Wollen (1898)
"The last stand of the survivors of Her Majesty's 44th Foot at Gandamak"


Born in Leipzig on 6 October 1857, he was educated at University College School, London from 1871–73 and also at the Slade School. From 1879 until 1922, he exhibited pictures at the Royal Academy, National Watercolour Society and elsewhere. His first picture exhibited at the Royal Academy was entitled "Football" but he followed this up with his first military painting in 1881 entitled "The rescue of Private Andrews by Captain Garnet J. Wolseley, H.M. 90th L.I. at the storming of the Motee Mahail, Lucknow". He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1888.

In 1900, he was commissioned by the new illustrated weekly newspaper, The Sphere to act as one of its special artists in South Africa to cover the Boer War. His experiences during this war resulted in several paintings including "The Imperial Light Horse at Waggon Hill, January 6, 1900", "The Victoria Cross", and "The 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment storming the Boer trenches at Pieter's Hill". The artist also exhibited several scenes during and shortly after World War I depicting that conflict.

He lived in London during his career in Camden Square and Bedford Park, and died in the city on 28 March 1936 aged 78.



Battle of Albuhera, by William Barnes Wollen

"The Flag Battle of Albuera, Albuera, May 16, 1811"

Battle of Abu Klea, William Barnes Wollen

"The Battle of Abu Klea"

Coldstream Guards by W.B. Wollen

"Coldstream Guards on parade in ceremonial uniform"

Coldstream Guards, Western Front, 1914 by W. B. Wollen

"Coldstream Guards in France, 1914"

Coldstreams Guards at Diamond Hill

"The Charge of the CIV's and Coldstreams at the Battle of Diamond Hill"

Written works

  • Wollen, W.B., "Christmas at the Front: A reminiscence of Christmas at Modder River," Cassell's Magazine, Dec. 1900-May 1901, pp. 112–115.

Further reading

  • Harrington, Peter. (1993). British Artists and War: The Face of Battle in Paintings and Prints, 1700-1914. London: Greenhill.
  • "War Pictures. How they are painted," The Regiment, 15 February 1902, pp. 308–309.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Formerly Buffs Regimental Museum, City Art Gallery, Canterbury.

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