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Gillingham Museum Montage

Accredited Museum Arts Council England

Dorset Museums Association



Lady Butler, Battle Artist


Elizabeth Thompson was born in 1846 and was brought up in Italy and England.  She attended the female School of Art at South Kensington. 

In 1874, this genteel Victorian lady sent a painting of the Crimean War to the Royal Academy where it was an outstanding success.  From then on she almost exclusively painted battle scenes, from Waterloo to Afghanistan and World War 1. 

In 1877 Elizabeth married Major William Butler whose career culminated in a knighthood and the rank of General.  She accompanied her husband as he was posted around England and to Egypt and South Africa.  They retired to Ireland where she continued to paint until her death in 1933.
Below: The Dorset Yeomanry at Agagia 1916