William Stott Biography
The Oldham-born painter William Stott received most of his education in Paris, working in the ateliers of Bonnat and Gerome in the late 1870s, before entering the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1880. In France he became associated with an international colony of artists at Grez-sur- Loing near Fontainebleau, where he produced Le Passeur and La Baignade, for which he was awarded a third-class medal at the Salon of 1882. Returning to England, Stott became one of Whistler's proteges, on whose recommendation he was elected a member of the Society of British Artists in 1886, the year Whistler himself became its President. Whistler's controversial reforms included the introduction of new members and a more spacious hang, and as an ardent supporter of his presidency Stott spoke out in defence of his mentor's policies: a letter he wrote to the Court and Society Review in July 1886 praised Whistler's individualism in refusing to pander to the prevailing taste for narrative subjects conveying moral sentiments.