Sidney Richard Percy was the fifth son of the famous landscape painter Edward Williams Senior and, like others of his family, changed his surname to avoid confusion.
He was one of the most popular artists of the Victorian era, his tranquil, realistic landscapes attaining a wide appeal among contemporary patrons. Due to the success of his works, at the age of thirty six he was affluent enough to marry Miss E.C. Fairlan, who stipulated that she would not consider any suitor who was earning less than £2000 a year, an impressive sum in those days.
They lived in Barnes until 1863 when they moved to Hill House, a fine Regency home At Great Missenden which was ideally situated for studies of the Buckingham landscape. However, it was the Scottish and Welsh landscapes to which Percy always had the deepest attachment A critic in 1853 described his art as of ‘’ very high character, being everywhere powerful and leaving nothing to be desired ‘’.
He had a marked sense of design, adjusting the landscape to fit in with his unified schemes. He was fascinated by photography and his art reflects this, showing a clarity of vision and detail rarely rivalled amongst other landscape artists of the period.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy for 44 years as well as the British Institution and the Royal Society of British Artists.