Biography: Matthew Ridley was born in 1837 in Newcastle, studied at the Royal Academy Schools and in Paris. From 1862 until his death in 1888 he was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. He was a friend of James McNeill Whistler, having first met him in Paris in 1856/-57. In England, he introduced Whistler to a little circle of etching enthusiasts which gathered at the house of Edwin Edwards. Ionides acquired many prints by members of this clique.
Ridley was a member of the Arts Club between 1878-1888; he was nominated by Luke Fildes and seconded by Albert Moore on 29 November 1877. At that time, he lived at 158 Buckingham Palace Road. His studio at 80 Peel Street (built about 1878) was also occupied by E. A. Abbey and Frank Dicksee.
Later he lived in Chiswick, where he established an art school and acquired a considerable following.