Charles de Lacy


Charles de Lacy
Charles John de Lacy

Sunderland, County Durham
Died13 December 1929 (aged 73)[1]
Epsom, Surrey
EducationThe National Gallery
Known forMarine art

Charles John de Lacy (1856 – 13 December 1929) was one of the foremost British marine artists of his period. He was especially known for his warship imagery and was regularly commissioned by Elswick, Tyne and Wear shipbuilder W. G. Armstrong Whitworth.

Minas Geraes (1908)


Son of Robert de Lacy, a professor of music, and his wife Eliza,[2] Charles de Lacy was born in 1856 in Sunderland, County Durham, and grew up in the Bishopwearmouth area of the city. Although he would do much work in that area, by 1870 his family had relocated from the North East of England to Lambeth in London.[2] While in Lambeth he married Alice Harriet Hill in 1880 and they had two daughters, Constance Rosamond De Lacy (b. 1881) and Irene Valerie Cristoforo De Lacy (b. 1901).[2] In the matter of his death 1936 is often cited;[3] however, the evidence suggests 1929 is correct.[2] He died in Epsom, Surrey.

He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1889,[3] having undertaken training at The National Gallery.[3] Magazines such as The Illustrated London News were among early patrons.[3]

Sources vary regarding the correct spelling of the surname: "de Lacy" or "de Lacey". Three of the cited sources say "de Lacy" (including Art UK).[4] The Royal Museums at Greenwich (including the National Maritime Museum) use both forms.[5] In the 1911 census entry in his own hand is written Charles John De Lacy and he says of himself "Artist, Painter and Press artist".[6]

Individual notable works

  • The Battle Against the Spanish Armada
  • The Kinfauns Castle as a Troopship (National Maritime Museum)[7]
  • HMS Vindictive Storming Zeebrugge Mole (during the Zeebrugge Raid) which hangs in the Britannia Royal Naval College.[8]
  • The Sinking of the Lusitania[9]
  • "The Funeral of queen Victoria" Porthmouth 1st February 1901

Much of his work was done as book illustration or as commercial art for shipbuilders. Amongst major publishing names who used his material were Frederick Warne & Co, Thomas Nelson, Cassell, Methuen Publishing and S.P.C.K.[2]

Mist in port, London (1881)

Selected public collections holding de Lacy material

Further reading

  • "Charles John de Lacy". WikiGallery.
  • Archibald, Edward H H (1989). Dictionary of Sea Painters. ISBN 1851490477.
  • Keys, Richard E; Smith, Ken (2010). Armstrong's River Empire: Tyne Shipyards that supplied the world. Newcastle: Tyne Bridge Publishing. pp. cover, 37. ISBN 978-1-857951-48-6. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2013. – two images from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums item 679/7/15: Elswick 1911 (cover) and Chao Ho (page 37)


  1. ^ Archive item 450/1[12] is a bound collection of W G Armstrong Whitworth printed launch ephemera. An example is Minas Geraes. Its subject is the Brazilian battleship Minas Geraes. Another example is a pair covering different HMS Invincibles.
  2. ^ Elswick 1911 has been used as the cover of Armstrong's River Empire. Archives item 696/7/15 which also contains a De Lacy of the Chinese Chao Ho.[13]


  1. ^ "Deaths". The Times. 17 December 1929. p. 1.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Charles J. de Lacy: Artist". Look and Learn History Picture Library. 27 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Charles John de Lacy (1856 – c.1936)". Ask Art. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  4. ^ 11 artworks by or after Charles John de Lacy at the Art UK site. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Collections: HMS Vindictive at Zeebrugge, 23 April 1918". Royal Museums Greenwich. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ "1911 Charles De Lacy census return". Find my Past. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Your Paintings: The Kinfauns Castle as a Troopship". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Your Paintings: HMS Vindictive Storming Zeebrugge Mole". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  9. ^ "The Sinking of the Lusitania". WikiGallery.
  10. ^ "National Maritime Museum catalogue search results".
  11. ^ "Royal Museums Greenwich search results". Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g W G Armstrong Whitworth Launch Ephemera. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. Item 450/1.
  13. ^ a b c Archive item 696/7/15. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
  14. ^ "Your Paintings: The Pool of London". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Your Paintings: The Destroyer Forester off Constantinople". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2013.