Biography: English painter, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, filmmaker, writer and teacher born in Waal, Bavaria. Herkomer exhibited annually at the Royal Academy, London, from 1869. His best known subjects depict the poor and disadvantaged, a characteristic fostered in part by his own humble origins. His style vacillated between the delicate idealism of Frederick Walker (whom he greatly admired) and the more vigorous brushwork of contemporary German realist painting. In 1899 William II awarded Herkomer the Order of Merit, which entitled him to add the prefix ‘von' to his name. Although Herkomer continued to exhibit genre subjects throughout his career, the principal focus of his painting after 1880 was portraiture. Later in life, Herkomer became involved with the fledgling British film industry, making and appearing in several films from 1912 to 1914. His ran an art school at Bushey between 1883 to 1904, and drew an international cadre of students most notably William Nicholson. He received a knighthood in 1907.