Dorthea Sharp was born in Dartford, Kent. She studied at an art school in Richmond, run by Charles Edward Johnson R.I. (1832-1913) studying landscape painting, and at Regent Street Polytechnic, continuing her studies in Paris.
Sharp exhibited widely, at the Royal Academy 1901-1948, at the Royal British Academy to which she was elected in 1907. She was elected into the R.O.I. in 1922 and the S.W.A. of which she was vice president.
For much of her life Dorthea Sharp lived at 22 Bloomfield Road in West London, moving to St. Ives in 1940-1946. She traveled widely in the 1920’s and 1930’s, visiting Cornwall, the South of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, views of which appeared in her Royal Academy exhibits.
Dorthea Sharp epitomizes the movement known as “British Impressionism”. She studied and painted in France and was clearly aware of Monet and the Impressionists; the clarity of light, her novel use of colour, the spontaneity of her brushwork, define her as a significant figure in twentieth century British painting.