Illustrator and painter John Byam Liston Shaw (1872 –1919) was born in Madras, India, on 13 November 1872. The Shaws emigrated to Kennsington, London, in 1878. When he was fifteen-years-old Shaw’s art was shown to Pre-Raphaelite Sir John Everett Millais. Millais encouraged the promising artist, resulting in Shaw's enrollment at St John's Wood Art Schools and later the Royal Academy Schools where he won the Armitage Prize in 1892. Shaw remained heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. He exhibited his painting Rose Mary, which was based upon a Dante Gabriel Rossetti poem, at the Royal Academy in 1893. In addition to the Royal Academy, Shaw exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Pastel Society, the New Gallery, and the Royal Watercolour Society. Shaw focused almost entirely on illustration after 1898. His 500 drawings for the Chiswick Shakespeare are perhaps the most enduring contribution to his illustration oeuvre. He also contributed to the periodicals The Dome, Cassell’s Family Magazine, The Graphic, The Connoisseur, and Punch. Shaw taught at the Women’s Department of King’s College in Kensington Square but resigned in 1910 to open his own art school with his future biographer and landscape painter Rex Vicat Cole (1870-1940). The Byam Shaw School of Art exists today but in 2003 merged into Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. Haggard’s The Pearl Maiden (1914) is the last book Shaw illustrated, possibly because he turned his attention to war cartoons and service that year. He served in the United Arts Rifles and the Special Constabulary during WWI. He married Evelyn Pyke-Nott in June 1899, and they had 5 children. Shaw died in London on 26 January 1919.
Cole, Rex Vicat. The Art & Life of Byam Shaw. London: Seeley, Service, 1932. Print.
Houfe, Simon. “Shaw, John Byam Liston ARWS 1873[sic] – 1919.” The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1981. 450-451. Print.
Waters, Grant M.. “Shaw, John Byam, R.I., A.R.W.S., (1872–1919).” Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900- 1950. Eastbourne: Eastbourne Fine Art, 1975. 297. Print.