Born in Liverpool in 1874, Frank Moss Bennett moved to London to study at St. John’s Wood Art School, a highly successful private atelier, and at the Slade and Royal Academy Schools. At the latter he was awarded the gold medal and a travelling scholarship. Bennett exhibited at the Paris Salon, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and, from 1898 to 1928, at the Royal Academy. One of his earliest exhibits being “The Greek Runner Lados, falling dead as he goes to receive his crown at Olympia”, a subject in the tradition of High Victorian Art.
Bennett however, turned to painting historical genre and portraits and it was with the former that he achieved critical acclaim. He portrayed life in 17th and 18th century England, figures in tavern interiors or travellers gathered before a coaching inn, huntsmen carousing after the hunt or gentlemen discussing affairs of State, subjects which found a ready market amongst collectors in the United Kingdom and the United States in particular.
Bennett lived early in his career in South London before moving to Ebury Street in 1911. Towards the end of his career he became Official Purchaser for the National Portrait Gallery.