The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Wyke Bayliss, 1835-1906

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1835.11.21
Place of Birth: Madeley, Shropshire
Date of Death: 1906.04.05
Place of Death: 7 North Road, Clapham Park, London


Wyke Bayliss was a painter and writer. He was the second son of John Cox Bayliss, a railway engineer and a teacher of military and mathematical drawing, and Anne Wyke. He married Elise, daughter of the Rev. J. Broade, in 1858; they had no children.


Bayliss gained a sound, architectural method of drawing under the tutelage of his father. He later studied at the Royal Academy schools and the School of Design, Somerset House. He was famous for painting architecture and cathedral interiors such as St. Mark's, Venice (1880). JW mockingly referred to him as 'Bayliss the Middlesex Michel Angelo' (#10939).

He sent his best work to the Royal Society of British Artists, of which he was elected a member in 1865. In 1884, Bayliss proposed JW be elected to the committee, but soon began to oppose his policies to modernise and expand the society. In about 1888, Theodore Roussel gave JW an unflattering drawing of Wyke Bayliss in exchange for A house with a veranda and steps leading down to a garden (M.1194). JW became President in June 1886, but was succeeded by Bayliss in 1888, who held office until his death.

Bayliss also wrote on art; his studySeven Angels of the Renascence: the Story of Art from Cimabue to Claudewas published in 1905. He was elected F.S.A. in 1870 and knighted in 1897.


Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004; Bayliss, Sir Wyke, Olives: the Reminiscences of a President, by Sir Wyke Bayliss ... Edited by his Wife …, London, 1906 Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61.