Illingworth Varley (1869-1942) was born in Saltaire. He trained at the Saltaire and Shipley Schools of Art, later teaching at both schools.
Between 1893-94 he studied in London at St. John’s Wood School of Art and Hampstead School of Art, where he received various awards and medals. He then spent three years teaching in Macclesfield School of Art before returning to London, studying at the Royal College of Art in 1901.
He held several teaching posts in London and in 1907 was appointed Headmaster of Malvern School of Art, a position he occupied until his retirement in 1935.
He exhibited work at the Royal Academy and at other London and regional galleries, including Birmingham and Worcester.
His wife, Eleanor Varley (1870-1951), and his two daughters, Eleanor Doris Varley and Mabel Illingworth Varley, all born outside the Bradford area, were also all successful artists (see example of Mabel’s portraiture at the introduction to this post).