Media File
William Spencer Bagdatopoulos
Date: Greek artist, 1884–1965, active in the UK and the US
Biography: William Spencer Bagdatopoulos (1884–1965) was a painter and commercial artist, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is known for his Orientalist renditions of people and monuments in the East. Born of mixed Greek-English parentage on the island of Zante, Greece, in 1888, he spent his childhood in the Netherlands. He entered the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam (the Rotterdam Art Academy) at age 11. At the age of sixteen he travelled to the Near East, painting in Egypt and Palestine, and going on to study art for another year at the Athens Academy (1906–07). He traveled and worked in Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, returning to London in 1908 where he began his professional career. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Arts, England in 1909. He served with the British Army during World War I. In 1924, Bagdatopoulos was commissioned by the Times of India in Bombay to tour the country on their behalf. From 1924-26 he travelled throughout India, painting images of popular sights. Some of his art was reproduced in the Times of India annuals. He also illustrated advertisements for the magazine and travel posters for the Indian Railways Promotion Bureau. In 1928, Bagdatopoulos moved to the USA, becoming a naturalized U. S. citizen. He settled in Santa Barbara, California working as an artist, chiefly painting portraits. He may also have worked as a set designer for stage and film. He turned later in his career to 'the more demanding discipline of printmaking, producing a considerable body of works in both etching and drypoint.