Herbert von Herkomer was born May 26, 1849, in Waal, Germany. He died on March 31, 1914.
Herkomer was an accomplished painter, composer and film maker. He worked for years as a child at his father’s side who was a very fine wood carver. Herbert produced many fine paintings as a young boy. He had little formal education.
Herbert traveled with his family to America and Cleveland Ohio in 1851. They returned in 1857 and lived at 10 Windsor Terrace in South Hampton. Herbert went to art school in Southampton.
He eventually went back to Munich to study while his father worked on his wood carvings there.
The trip to Antwerp was difficult and at one point they crossed through it in a cattle boat.
This trip to Munich was a long and difficult one as his family had little in the way of finances. Their life was a difficult one in Antwerp. At one point they traveled fourth class on the train and he mentioned that “those he traveled with were no less filthy than the carriages of the train.”
In 1869 Herbert exibited his works for the first time at the Royal academy.
He painted Queen Victoria from a photograph upon her death. Edward the Vll hated the custom of death masks and asked Herbert to paint her portrait.
He opened an art school in Bushey and built a fine mansion there. It was designed by the famous American architecht H.H. Richardsen.
The house was constructed over the years of 1886 through 1894. It was desgined as a Bavarian castle. It was called Lululand after his third wife. Two of his wives were sisters. Interesting, to say the least.Sadly he only spent ten years living there.
Herkomer moved to Bushey in 1874 and began teaching art. He started Herkomer’s Art School in 1883. The school operated for 21 years and many gifted artists passed through its doors. Many of these artists stayed in Bushey to open their own studios.
Despite being a prominent member the Royal Academy of the Arts, Royal Watercolour Society and Royal Society of Painters – Etcher and being on familiar terms with the Royal Family, Herkomer was never totally accepted by the British.
He was a victim of the worsening relations between England and Germany.
Four of his paintings are in The National collection at the Tate Gallery.
He was a commander of the Royal Victorian Order and was knighted by the king in 1907.
He also established Lululand Studios and directed several historical dramas there accompanied by his own music.
Lululand was the site of continued movie making for many years. The buildings were eventually torn down and the gardens were created on the property.