Elizabeth Thompson

British artist (1846–1933)

Elizabeth Thompson or Lady Butler (3 November 1846 – 2 October 1933) was a British painter known for her military paintings.[1][2]

Elizabeth Thompson
Born(1846-11-03)3 November 1846
Lausanne, Switzerland
Died2 October 1933(1933-10-02) (aged 86)
Gormanston, Ireland

Thompson was born in Lausanne, Switzerland on 3 November 1846.[3] She went to school at the Female School of Art in London. Thompson visited Paris in 1870. She saw military pictures painted by the French painters Edouard Detaille and Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.[4]

Thompson painted large scenes from the Crimean War and the Napoleonic Wars. In 1874 Thompson showed her painting Calling the Roll After An Engagement, Crimea at the Royal Academy. The painting was so popular that the police were placed at the painting to protect it from crowds.[5] Queen Victoria bought the painting.[6] The painting is now in the Royal Collection Trust.[7]

Thompson became a popular painter. Her best-known painting is Scotland for Ever!.[4] Many of her paintings were turned into prints and she sold many copies.[6][8]

In 1877 Thompson married Sir William Francis Butler (1838–1910). Her name became Lady Butler. She had five children.[4]

Even though she was a very important military painter she was not allowed in the Royal Academy.[9] She died on 2 October 1933 in Gormanston, Ireland.[3]



  1. "Elizabeth (Lady Butler) Butler". AskArt. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  2. "The Art of Empire: Great Britain's Victorian War Artist, Elizabeth Thompson Butler". The Strategy Bridge. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Elizabeth Southerden Butler (Lady)". RKD (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Butler [née Thompson], Elizabeth Southerden, Lady Butler (1846–1933), military painter". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32209. Retrieved 15 August 2023. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. "Lady Elizabeth Butler | Artist |". Royal Academy of Arts. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Butler, Elizabeth Thompson (1846–1933)". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  7. "Elizabeth Southerden Butler, Lady Butler (1846-1933) - The Roll Call". Royal Collection Trust. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  8. Luscombe, Stephen. "Biographies: Lady Butler". The British Empire. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  9. Bluett, Amy. "Mary Moser and Angelica Kauffman: the RA's founding women". Royal Academy of Arts. Retrieved 15 August 2023.

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