Maurice Greiffenhagen (1862 – 1931) was a British painter , exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1884. He was born in London, the son of a Baltic merchant who had settled in England, and christened at St Matthew’s church, City Road. In 1889 he married Beatrice Latham at St George’s, Bloomsbury and in the 1891 census they were living at Primrose Hill studios, among other artists including John Waterhouse. They soon moved to 12 Loudon Road where they stayed for the rest of his life.
From 1906 until 1926 he taught at the Glasgow School of Art and he was made an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1916 and a Royal Academician in 1922. He painted a variety of pictures – landscapes and portraits – and also designed posters, particularly the Gateway to Scotland, one of the most popular travel posters commissioned by LMS Railways in 1924, and London: Piccadilly. His painting The Idyll inspired D H Lawrence’s novel the White Peacock ,as it had a profound effect on the author who wrote that As for Greiffenhagen’s Idyll, it move me almost as if I were in love myself. He also illustrated books such as Sanders of the River for the Windsor Magazine, and his friendship with H Rider Haggard led to him illustrate Haggard’s popular adventure books like She.
His elder son Rider Maurice Waterhouse was born on 8 February 1892 and christened at All Saints ,St Johns Wood and another son Maurice Rodney was christened in 1904. In the 1901 census Maurice is listed as a portrait painter, Rider is aged 9 and a scholar, and the family employs a cook, housemaid and parlourmaid. In the 1911 census Rider was a 19 year old Lieutenant in the Navy at Devonport, but sadly on 27 March 1916 he became a casualty of the First World War, a Lieutenant dying in the North Sea, leaving £471 13 8d.
Greiffenhagen lived at 12 Loudon Road for many years – his house was nearly purchased after the Second World War by painter Edward Halliday – but it was one of those demolished to make way for the American school . We considered buying Maurice Greiffenhagen’s big rambling house in Loudoun Road where the American School stands today. Though I thought it romantic I was worried that our cat might get down on the railway lines from Marylebone which ran below the end of the garden (they were in fact fenced in) and was better pleased when we found no 62 Hamilton Terrace instead, to which we moved in autumn 1949. (Charlotte Halliday) Maurice Greiffenhagen died in 1931, leaving £3793.