Edward Brian Seago, RBA ARWS RWS (1910-1974)
The son of a coal merchant, born in Norwich, and attended Norwich School. Seago was a self-taught artist, (although he received advice from Sir Alfred Munnings and Bernard Priestman), and enjoyed a wide range of admirers from the British Royal family and the Aga Khan to the common man. His works have been classified as either Impressionist or Post-Impressionist and included landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes, street scenes, his garden and portraits.
At fourteen, he won an award from the Royal Drawing Society, and from then on knew what he wanted to do in spite of his parents' initial disapproval. At the age of eighteen, Seago joined Bevin's Travelling Show and subsequently toured with circuses in Britain and throughout Europe.
Heart problems, identified at the age of seven, dogged him all of his life. He had to resort to subterfuge to join the army at the outbreak of the Second World War. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 3 December 1939 with the Army number 110235 and was employed on developing camouflage techniques for Field Marshal Auchinleck, with whom he had a lifelong friendship. He continued painting whilst with the Army and gave paintings to those with whom he served. Major Eddy Hodges DSO of 2nd Battalion The King's Regiment may not have been alone in folding his painting so that it fitted in the pocket of his Battle Dress blouse. Edward Seago relinquished his Commission on account of ill-health whilst serving as a War Substantive Captain and was granted the honorary rank of Major on 16 October 1944.
Such was his popularity that those who wished to buy one of his paintings had to queue at his various annual exhibitions around the world (with the single exception of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother).
"The Queen Mother bought so many that eventually the artist, who died in 1974, gave her two a year – on her birthday and at Christmas. Prince Philip invited him on a tour of the Antarctic in 1956, and his subsequent paintings, considered to be among his best, hang at Balmoral."