THOMPSON, Sydney Lough, O.B.E.
A new biography of Thompson, Sydney Lough appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Sydney Lough Thompson was born at Oxford, Canterbury, on 24 January 1877. He worked on his father's sheep farm from 1891 to 1895 and then studied art at the Canterbury College School of Art under Petrus Van der Velden from 1895 to 1899. He spent a year at Heatherley's School of Art, London, and a further year at Julien's Academy, Paris, under Bouguereau, and remained in France till 1905 when he returned to New Zealand. He taught life drawing in Canterbury between 1907 and 1910 but left to paint in the South of France between 1911 and 1923. He was awarded a silver medal and honourable mention at the Paris Salon, 1922. After returning to New Zealand, Thompson was president of the Canterbury Society of Arts from 1935 to 1937 and was for a number of years a member of the Committee of Management of the National Art Gallery, Wellington. A retrospective exhibition was arranged by the Canterbury Art Society in 1961. His paintings, high in key and reflecting the influence of the early French Impressionists, are highly prized and he is well represented in public and private collections. In 1962 he again returned to France to paint. He was awarded an O.B.E. in 1937.