Wilson Steer was born in Liverpool. He attended a small provincial art school before going to Paris in 1882, where he studied painting for three years. He was influenced by the French Impressionists, in particular to the way they caught fleeting effects of light and colour in rapid strokes of colour, but when he returned to England he looked again at the great English watercolourists - Turner and Constable - and adapted the techniques of Impressionism to suit the more fluid, changeable effects of English weather. Such works catch an impression of place with barely tinted washes of color, so evanescent they appear more like a veil than a fluid stream of coloured water. He became leader of the so-called ‘English Impressionist' school, and taught at the Slade School of Fine Art, London for thirty years.