The Celebration of the Fourth of June at Eton
Colour aquatintpublished 25 April 1837
About the work
Eton's best-known holiday is the ‘celebration of the fourth of June’. The event marks the birthday of King George III, one of the most generous supporters of the college.~On this day (now in fact celebrated on the Wednesday before the first weekend of June) a procession of vintage wooden rowing boats travels along the River Thames, each manned by a rowing crew of Eton boys.
About the artist
Watercolourist William Evans was probably born at Eton College; the son of artist Samuel Evans, Drawing Master there from 1808. After attending Eton, William abandoned medical training to study under William Collins and Peter DeWint. He married in 1822 and succeeded his father as Drawing Master the following year. In 1830 he became a member of the Society of Painters in Water Colours. After his wife died in 1837, he was left to care for their eight children. He bought a boys’ boarding house, Eton. Evan painted views of games and events at the college and his two views of the Eton ‘Montem’ (lithographed 1852) are now his best-known works. He resigned as Eton Drawing Master in 1853 to concentrate on painting. He died in Eton, aged 79.