Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1855-1938) was born in southern Australia but his formal training began when the family returned to England in 1875. Though acknowledged first as a painter, he also became an accomplished printmaker. Between 1880 and 1900, thirty five of his paintings and etchings were shown at the Royal Academy. An important connection occured when he met Whistler on a trip to Brittany. The encouragement he received cemented his place within the 'etching revival' during which he produced more than 700 etchings and drypoints - most printed by himself. After a trip to Japan and an assignment as a war artist to South Africa during the Boer War Menpes was led to travel even more extensively after 1902.
He retired around 1910 and moved to Pangbourne, England where he managed "Menpes Fruit Farms" as part of his Purley-on-Thames business. He maintained membership in most of the important art societies and Institutes until his death in 1938.