William Russell Flint was born in Edinburgh in 1880. His father, Francis Wighton Flint, was also an artist. William served a six year apprenticeship as a lithographic artist before moving to London in 1900.
He married Sibylle Sueter in 1905 and became a freelance artist in 1907. In 1912 he and his wife moved to Italy for a year where he acquired his love of the rural way of life. During the First World War he served in both the RNVR as well as the RAF. In 1914 he was made an Associate of The Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours.
After the First World War he travelled to France and Spain where he produced wonderful watercolours and drawings depicting the local scenery and culture. He also visited Switzerland. He was elected an Associate of The Royal Academy in 1924, a full member in 1933 and he became President of The Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1936. A position he held until 1956.
After the Second World War, Flint was knighted in 1947 by King George the Sixth alongside the actor Laurence Olivier and the musician Malcolm Sargent. The post war years saw him produce some of his finest work. His skill in depicting the female form became a hallmark.
In 1962, his talent was acknowledged with a retrospective exhibition at The Royal Academy, the highest distinction that an artist can achieve during his lifetime.
Sir William Russell Flint died in 1969 aged 89. His legacy to his many admirers all over the World being his skill in depicting the female form as well as the rural pastimes that he so enjoyed observing.
His works are represented in many museums including The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.