William Lionel Wyllie was born in London, son of painter William Morrison Wyllie. He studied at Heatherley's Art School and the Royal Academy schools. From 1870 he made illustrations for ‘The Graphic’. By 1889 he had settled in Rochester, where he painted the Lower Thames and Medway. He later moved to Portsmouth. In 1901 he recorded the passing of Queen Victoria's body from the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth. Wyllie painted contemporary and historical scenes and events related to the First World War. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1907. At his death in 1931, some 5,000 of his watercolours were purchased for the proposed National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.
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