Mark Gertler was born in 1891 in a slum in the East End of London, the fifth child of a family of Jewish immigrants from Poland.
Already talented he gained a place at the Slade School of Art when he was just 16. He became friends with such fellow-artists as Paul Nash, Edward Wadsworth and Stanley Spencer, and attracted patrons including William Rothenstein and Lady Ottoline Morrell.
Gertler later suffered with depression and shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, committed suicide.
His masterpiece, The Merry-Go-Round (1916), today hangs prominently at Tate Modern in London.