Ernest Thesiger

The Artist


Ernest Thesiger originally trained to be a professional fine artist, enrolling at the Slade School of Art, London, and studying under Henry Tonks. In the early 1900s, Ernest traveled through Europe and as far as North Africa, producing landscapes in watercolor from locations in France, Italy, Corsica, Madeira, and Morocco.  He continued to paint throughout his life, working primarily in watercolor.

Partial List of Exhibitions:

1906  The Modern Gallery, London.  Sketches of Spain, Corsica, and Italy, watercolors.

1907  The Modern Gallery, London.  Madeira and Morocco, watercolors.

1912   Sketches of Montenegro, Bond Street, London, November.

1913   The Modern Gallery, London.  Italian Lakes and London Churches, watercolors.

1916  The Modern Gallery, London.  One-man show. May. Profits donated to the Red Cross.

           Caledonian War Fair in aid of the War Funds.  Ernest participates with William Ranken as pavement artists.   June 6 - 7.

1918   The Modern Gallery, London  Exhibition of watercolors. February.

1920   The Royal Amateur Art Society, exhibition at the home of Sir George Cooper, Grosvenor Square.

            Ernest wins a silver medal. May.

1922   The Royal Amateur Art Society, exhibition at No. 27 Grosvenor Square by permission of

           Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fleming, in aid of London Nursing Charities.  Watercolors. May 14, 15

1923  The Royal Amateur Art Society,  exhibition at the home of Dame Alice Godman, 45 Pont Street, S.W.

           Ernest wins prize for two landscapes. May.

1924   The Royal Amateur Art Society, exhibition at the home of the Hon. Mrs. Robert Lindsay, London.

            Watercolor flower studies.

1932   The Prince’s Galleries, London.   One-man show of watercolors depicting landscapes of Lake Como, English towns, and New York.  October.

1936   Fine Art Society.  Exhibition of Flower Portraits.  Watercolors.

1938   Actor Painters Exhibition at the Wertheim Galleries, May.


           Fine Art Society.  Flower Portraits.

1939   The Goupil Gallery, London.  Exhibition of sketches of Malvern Festival personalities.

1941   “Military Objectives?”  Exhibition of works depicting bombed London churches. 

           Bond Street, London, June.

Surrey Pines,  on display at the Grainger Museum, Melbourne

Ajaccio, Corsica, 1906

Venice Sunlight, Shade

Grand Curral, Madeira, 1907

Street Scene, Morocco, 1907

Californian Desert, c. 1935

Spring Flowers

Ernest on the set of “The Bride of Frankenstein,” 1935, showing his California landscapes to fellow cast members Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, and Elsa Lanchester.

Ernest also made portrait sketches, often for charity.

“Mr. Ernest Thesiger, who will take the part of Captain Hook in this year’s production of ‘Peter Pan’ is a versatile man, for he is not only an extremely clever actor who can play modern comedy, farce, and costume parts with equal success, but is an adept at lightning sketches.  During the war he earned several hundred pounds for the Red Cross by his quick sketch portraits; and at the recent Christmas Gift Sale for the Children’s Country Holiday Fund he gave his services for the cause.  Marchioness Curzon, who opened the sale, was one of his sitters.”

The Sketch, November 30, 1921

British Lilies


Mixed Bunch, 1939

A Spring Bouquet, 1939. 

Ernest sketching Lady Mary Meade at Lady Carson’s garden party in aid of the Children’s Country Holiday Fund, 1928.

Surrey Landscape

Toledo, 1905

Wild Flowers, 1938

Flower painting given by Ernest to his friend Hilda Moore, possibly as early as 1910 when they both appeared in the play “Inconstant George.”  The painting was kept in the family of Hilda’s son (stage name Mike Raven) until it was sold in 2015.  Collection of HL Tyler.