Frederick Walker studied as a youth at the British Museum in London, then trained as an architect as a pupil in the Royal Academy Schools. In 1863, he started exhibiting in London and, the following year, he was admitted to associate membership of the Society of Painters in Watercolours; he was admitted to full membership of that Society in 1866. The following year, Walker's watercolours earned him a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The Royal Academy accorded him associate membership in 1871. He was in poor health and elected to spend a winter in Algiers. He died in 1875, shortly after his return to England.
Walker is an influential figure in the history of British painting. He was also a woodcut engraver and a contributor to periodicals such as Once a Week and, on the recommendation of William Thackeray, the Cornhill Magazine.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Birmingham: Old Gate
Birmingham (Barber Institute of Fine Arts): Self-portrait (red chalk)
Birmingham (Mus. and AG): Gondola (watercolour)
Liverpool (Lady Lever AG): The Bathers (1865-1868, oil on canvas)
Liverpool (Walker AG): Old Letters
London (National Portrait Gal.): Self-portrait (c. 1865, watercolour)
London (Tate Collection): The Vagrants (1868, oil on canvas); The Harbour of Refuge (1872, oil on canvas)
London (Victoria and Albert Mus.): a watercolour
Manchester (Whitworth AG): Well-Sinkers (1868, watercolour on paper); Reading in the Park (1870, watercolour on card)
Melbourne: Right of Way