Matthew White Ridley was a painter and etcher. He married and had a daughter, Dorothy Ridley.
Ridley first met JW in Paris in 1856/1857 and later became a regular member of his circle in London. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institute and the Royal Society of British Artists between 1857 and 1880.
The collector Pickford Waller first visited JW's studio in Ridley's company as a young man. Ridley modelled for JW in the watercolour portrait Bravura in Brown (M.929), a drypoint, Encamping(1861) and an etching The Storm (K.81), that was done while visiting Mrs and Mrs Edwin Edwards in 1861. He seems to have assisted JW with the printing of his etchings from 1878-1880. About 1881 JW drew from memory a sketch of Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129), for Ridley, on the back of Hogarth Club stationary.
Ridley was a member of the Arts Club between 1878-1888; he was nominated by Luke Fildes and seconded by Albert Moore on 29 November 1877. At that time, he lived at 158 Buckingham Palace Road. His studio at 80 Peel Street (built about 1878) was also occupied by E. A. Abbey and Frank Dicksee.
Later he lived in Chiswick, where he established an art school and acquired a considerable following.
Rogers, G. A. F., The Arts Club and its Members by G. A. F. Rogers with Illustrations by Members of the Club, London, 1920; Walkley, Giles, Artists' houses in London 1764-1914, Aldershot, 1994; Gatty, Valerie, 'Matthew White Ridley, Painter Etcher,' Apollo, August 1981, pp. 118-20.