Born in London in 1864, Wardle died there in 1949.
A painter from a very early age, Arthur Wardle had no formal art training, probably benefiting from his association with artists of the day, many of whom lived in his particular area of Chelsea. He became an outstanding animal painter, working in oil, pastel and watercolour, best known for his popular, domestic pictures of dogs, although he also painted a variety of other domestic and wild animals.
In 1892, he moved to St. Johns Wood with his wife, most likely to be nearer to London Zoo, where he was often to be found sketching ‘on the spot’ studies. During the 1920s he is thought to have made several expeditions to Africa, India and South East Asia.
In 1880, when he was only sixteen years old, one of his animalier paintings was accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy, where he showed frequently until 1938. In 1910 he exhibited at the Liverpool Exhibition. He became a member of the Pastel Society in 1911 and a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 1922. He held his first one-man exhibition at the Fine Art Society in 1931. He also exhibited at the Socety of British Artists in Suffolk Street and the New Watercolour Society, of which he was a member.
Examples of his work can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, as well as Leeds Museum.