Persis Kirmse

Elizabeth Persis Esperance Kirmse (1884, Bournemouth – 18 May 1955, Tunbridge Wells)[1] was a British artist and illustrator known for her works of cats and dogs.[2]

Elizabeth Persis Esperance Kirmse
Born1884 (1884)
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died18 May 1955(1955-05-18) (aged 70–71)
Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Known forPainting
Persis Kirmse00.jpg

She was the daughter of Richard and Lea Kirmse, respectively of German and Swiss origin, the proprietors of a private school in Hampshire. She produced oil paintings, works in pastels, and etchings of pets, often as commissions, and illustrated books, postcards, and calendars.[2]

She produced illustrated versions of scenes from Shakespeare using animal characters, including Shakespeare at the Kennels (1934), Shakespeare with the Pets (1935), Shakespeare at the Zoo (1936) and Shakespeare and the Birds (1938). Her illustrations were also used in books by Frances Pitt and E.V. Lucas. Her work was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1916.

Her sister, Marguerite Kirmse (1885–1954), was also an artist, specialising in etchings of dogs.[2]

Published worksEdit

Author and illustrator
  • Persis Kirmse (1938). Shakespeare and the Birds. Methuen.
  • Persis Kirmse (1934). Shakespeare at the Kennels, Etc. [Drawings of Dogs Suggested by Lines from Shakespeare.]. London.
  • Persis Kirmse (1936). Shakespeare at the Zoo. Methuen & Company.
  • Persis Kirmse (1935). Shakespeare with the Pets: A Book of Drawings. Methuen.


Further readingEdit