Henry Tonks, FRCS (9 April 1862 – 8 January 1937) was a British surgeon and later draughtsman and painter of figure subjects, chiefly interiors, and a caricaturist. He became an influential art teacher.
He was one of the first British artists to be influenced by the French Impressionists; he exhibited with the New English Art Club, and was an associate of many of the more progressive artists of late Victorian Britain, including James McNeill Whistler, Walter Sickert, John Singer Sargent and George Clausen.
...Tonks became "the most renowned and formidable teacher of his generation". Pupils of Tonks at the Slade included David Bomberg, William Lionel Clause, Mukul Dey, Ian Fairweather, Mark Gertler, Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Edna Clarke Hall, Augustus John, Gwen John, Percy Wyndham Lewis, Hyam Myer, William Orpen, Isaac Rosenberg, Stanley Spencer, and Rex Whistler. His sarcasm there drove F. M. Mayor's sister Alice to leave before completing her training. His student Paul Nash recalled Tonks’ withering manner:
"Tonks cared nothing for other authorities and he disliked self-satisfied young men….His surgical eye raked my immature designs. With hooded stare and sardonic mouth, he hung in the air above me, like a tall question mark, moreover… of a derisive, rather than an inquisitive order. In cold discouraging tones he welcomed me to the Slade. It was evident he considered that neither the Slade, nor I, was likely to derive much benefit."