Harry John Pearson, 1872 - 1933
Armistice Day, Trafalgar Square, November 11th 1918 with the Great Bonfire
Armistice Day, Trafalgar Sq, & the Great Bonfire
11th November 1918
oil on canvas
33.02 x 40.64 cm. (13 x 16 in.)


At 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month the armistice was signed ending 4 years of bloodhed across europea and ending WWI. News of the armistice brought cheering that exceeded that at the beginning of the war. People in England stopped work. Crowds there surged through the streets. Sirens screamed, church bells rang, factories blew their whistles, and those few with cars honked their horns. In Trafalgar Square a vast bonfire of celebration was lit. Pearson lived nearby in Fitzroy square and he worked in Westminster as a civil servant specilizing as an architect for new hospitals for the health service.

Artist biography

Harry John Pearson, RBA (1872-1933) was known mainly for his portrait and figure subjects, especially of children and society women, many of which were illustrated in periodicals of the day such as Colour Magazine and Woman’s Pictorial. He trained at The Royal Academy Schools in the early 1890's  and spent some time working in The Netherlands prior to World War I and joined n artist's colony. he returned to London and started to work as a commercial artist, working for companies such as Doulton, Birds, Collmans and others. His work also appeared in "Womens Pictorial", " the Illustrated London news ", " Homes and Gardens", " Colour Magazine" often gaining front cover exposure. Pearson exhibited at the Royal Academy 1916-1927, and extensively with the Royal Society of British Artists of which group he was elected a full member in 1915. Pearson also showed his work with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal West of England Academy, the International Society, the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool and he was President of the Langham Sketch Club.  He lived in Ealing, west London and died in March 1933 aged 61. he developed a reputation as a childrens portrait painter a well as portraits of society women. he contributed to Queen mary's famous Dolls House.