Henry Simpson was a landscape, coastal, architectural, genre and figure painter.
Simpson exhibited in London at the Royal Academy (1886-88), Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery, Fine Art Society, Dudley Gallery, New English Art Club and Society of British Artists, a society that appointed JW its President in 1886. He also exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Leicester Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. His works include Head of a Young Girl (Musée Mesdag, La Haye). In 1887 he joined the New English Art Club.
Simpson was a friend and correspondent of JW. In 1889 he was among those included in the preliminary preparations for a meal to be held at the Criterion on 1 May in celebration of JW's honorary membership of the Royal Academy in Munich. At this date he was living at Trafalgar Studios on Manresa Road (#00631). In 1890 he informed JW that Sheridan Ford's edition of The Gentle Art of Making Enemies was being sold illegally in Edinburgh (#05453). The Pennells met Simpson in Venice in 1900 and described him as 'most devoted' to JW, whom he talked of 'no end' (#04588).
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980.