Charles Pears was an English painter, who was born in Pontefract, Yorkshire, on 9 September 1873. He was educated at East Hardwick and Pomfret College. Throughout his career he tended to specialise in marine scenes and was later appointed the first president of the Society of Naval Artists, remaining a lifelong admirer of Canaletto. Pears also worked continuously as an illustrator, contributing to The Yellow Book, the Illustrated London News, Punch, The Graphic and other periodicals. His work reached a wide audience as he designed posters for the London Metropolitan Railways (‘Southend’, 1915) and the EMB (‘The Empire Highway to India’, 1928). In the First World War Pears held a commission in the Royal Marines, whilst also appointed an official war artist to the Admiralty.
Interwar artistic works identified include: “The Passenger Liner ‘Queen Mary’ Arriving at Southampton, 27 March 1936”, and Yachting on the Sunshine Coast, 1932 for the Southern Railway Company. In the Second World War, Pears was again appointed as a war artist, and some of his work is held in the National Maritime Museum, London, including ‘The Jervis Bay Action’ from 1940, ‘distinctive for its pinpoint, crystal-clear detail’. Pears originally lived in London, then later lived in Saint Mawes in Cornwall, dying in Truro in January 1958. Pears was a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Oil Colours, and his work continues to be commemorated through a prize at the RSMA’s annual exhibition: The Charles Pears Memorial Award.
Information collated from: WebMuseum, ‘Canaletto’, http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/canaletto/, accessed March 25 2004 has information on Canaletto, a Venetian artist, ‘the most famous view-painter of the 18th century’; National Maritime Museum, ‘The Passenger Liner ‘Queen Mary’ Arriving at Southampton’; http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/PaintingDetail.cfm?letter=p&ID=BH…, accessed October 4 2003; Joseph Mason Bookseller, ‘Ships and Boatbuilding’, http://members.aol.com/jcwm/yacht.html, accessed October 4 2003; National Maritime Museum, ‘Biography of Charles Pears’, http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuInDepth/Biography.cfm?biog=94, accessed October 4 2003