William James Laidlay was a landscape painter.
Laidlay studied in Paris from 1879 to 1885 with Carolus Duran and William Bouguereau. He was a founder member of the New English Art Club, a group with which JW exhibited in 1888 at their first exhibition. He was also elected into membership of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1903, a society of which JW was President from 1886 to 1888.
King was a strong opponent of the Royal Academy, and yet he submitted paintings for exhibition with that body, as well as with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery, London Salon and Goupil Gallery. He also exhibited at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Scottish Academy, Manchester City Art Gallery and Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, and from 1880 to 1912 he exhibited at the Société des Artists Francais in Paris.
In 1889 Laidlay was amongst those proposed invitees to a dinner organised by W. C. Symons to congratulate JW on becoming an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Munich, a dinner which was to be held at the Criterion in Piccadilly on 1 May (#05635).
Laidlay, William James, The Origin and First Two Years of the New English Art Club, London, 1907; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Wood, Christopher, Dictionary of Victorian Painters Woodbridge, 1971; Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980.