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Charles Edward Wilson was born in Whitwell in Derbyshire, the son of a school master in the village school, and studied at the Sheffield School of Art. Only becoming a full-time painter in 1895, Wilson undertook a series of jobs including a draughtsman in Chelsea.

Wilson was inspired by the work of Fredrick Walker (1840-1875) which he came across at the British Pavilion in Paris , 1897, where he had been sent by the director if the Victoria and Albert Museum to sketch some of the exhibits.   He developed a style of painting featuring young girls and boys in  rustic settings capturing  the picturesque of the quotidian activities of an idyllic rural life.

During his lifetime, Wilson received critical acclaim for his work, exhibiting at the Royal Academy and the Watercolour society and his work is held in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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