William Frith was born in Yorkshire in 1818 and began painting at an early age, drawing inspiration from the historic and literary scenes of the work of Shakespeare and Dickens.
As a painter of historical genre and scenes of Victorian life, he always sought to portray images of ordinary life, but it was not until the pre-Raphaelites had made modern genre acceptable that Frith tried his hand at this type of subject.
During the 1850s he achieved a notable degree of success with his work and Queen Victoria purchased the painting Ramsgate Sands. By the following year he had been elected a Royal Academician to fill the place left vacant by Turner's death.
Frith continued painting until his death in 1909 and his ouevre included many of the most familiar images of Victorian art, including Derby Day and The Railway Station. He left a formidable reputation and nineteen children.