William Salter was born in Honiton, Devon, but moved to London in his teens to become a pupil of James Northcote. Salter later travelled to Florence, where he was elected a member of the Florentine Academy of Fine Arts and also a member of the Rome and Parma Academies. He returned to England in 1833 and began working on ‘The Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House’, his most successful work. It took six years to complete and includes 84 portraits. In 1846 he became a member of the Society of British Artists, later becoming the Vice-President. In 1838, he presented an altarpiece, showing the ‘Descent from the Cross’, to the parish church in Horniton, the place of his birth. He died of bronchitis at his home in Fulham, leaving a widow, Mary.
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